- Dozens of influencers attended a party at the Hype House in Los Angeles on Tuesday, including James Charles, Tana Mongeau, Nikita Dragun, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, Emma Chamberlain, and others.
- YouTuber Tyler Oakley called out some of the creators on Twitter, asking them to instead use their platforms to encourage responsibility during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Jake Paul faced similar criticism from the Mayor of Calabasas this month after he threw a massive party where guests crowded together without masks and even swung from a raised excavator crane.
- Many fear that these creators are sending a bad message to their young followers and warn that this behavior has serious consequences, especially as cases across the country rise.
Hype House Party
Dozens of social media influencers are under fire for partying in Los Angeles on Tuesday amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
The gathering causing all the outrage was thrown in celebration of Hype House member Larray Merritt’s 22nd birthday. The festivities reportedly began with a dinner at BOA Steakhouse and later evolved into a night of partying at the Hype House’s new mansion in Hollywood Hills.
Based on several posts to social media, the party was packed with tons of maskless– or poorly masked- YouTubers and TikTokers. Guests in attendance included James Charles, Tana Mongeau, Nikita Dragun, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, Emma Chamberlain, and others.
The D’Amelio sisters were there as well. pic.twitter.com/mRnX2SET0J— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) July 22, 2020
She was at a huge party last night how the hell is she a role model pic.twitter.com/vZcEvYh4ej— Savemefranktherabbit (@Lyrth3) July 22, 2020
In fact, in an interview with The Holywood Fix, Hype House cofounder Thomas Petrou estimated that there were about 60-70 people inside the house. Keep in mind that groups of others were constantly being turned away outside the door.
Outrage and Call Out From Tyler Oakley
After seeing all of these influencers ignoring social distancing guidelines and mask policies, many took to social media to call them out.
One of the most notable was YouTuber Tyler Oakley. He initially tweeted, “if your favorite influencers are at huge house parties during a pandemic (& are dumb enough to post it on social media)… they are bad influences. unfollow them.”
A short time later, he decided to tag some especially large influencers, writing that they and “any others who have been partying in large groups” should “consider social distancing, mask wearing, & using your huge platforms to encourage responsibility during a worldwide pandemic.”
As of now it appears that only Merri has responded, saying, “ i understand 100% where ur coming from & it was a dumb thing to do. I will do better & will actually take this shit seriously. appreciate you tyler much love.”
Still, reactions to that have been mixed, with a lot of people pointing to a tweet from March that’s still on his page. That tweet reads, “the fact that there is a virus going around and some of y’all really going out risking ur health to go to a party with people you don’t even like is so stupid but shit I’m bored send me the addy next time.“
Aside from Merrit specifically, people are generally unhappy with what seems to be a widespread disregard for such a serious, fast-spreading, and in many cases deadly virus. In the past two weeks alone, the U.S. recorded more than 915,000 new cases of COVID-19. That’s more than what was reported across the country for the whole month of June and on top of that, the U.S. just surpassed 4 million total cases.
California has received even more attention after surpassing New York as the state with the most confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday.
Mayor Responds to Jake Paul Party
These are by no means the first influencers to face backlash for ignoring coronavirus safety measures. Frustrations have already been building against influencers linking up for collaborations and TikTok posts.
Earlier this month, Jake Paul face similar criticism for throwing a massive party at his Calabasas mansion.
Clips of that party show guests crowded together playing games and even hanging from a raized excavator crane. At one point someone pulls a car into the packed lobby of his home.
After seeing videos of the gathering, Calabasas Mayor Alicia Weintraub said she started receiving a flood of phone calls from outrage constituents.
“They’re having this large party, no social distancing, no masks, it’s just a big huge disregard for everything that everybody is trying to do to get things back to functioning,” she told Fox 11.
But apparently it wasn’t just Paul, the mayor said she also learned of a recent baby shower that brought in over 200 guests, as well a wedding reception that had a big crowd as well. As a result, Weintraub issued a press release Friday announcing a city council approved order. That order says those not wearing a mask in public may be fined $100 for the first offense. She specifically referenced the lack of proper coverings she’s seen as well as parties, even naming Paul specifically.
Now, she says there will be no more warnings. Instead, local sheriffs are ordered to immediately break up large gatherings.
Weintraub told the LA Times she was worried about young people would follow pauls lead in ignoring health guidelines. “I’m hoping he will turn it around, issue an apology, and start promoting wearing a mask.”
She also wasn’t the only one concerned about the example he was setting. As news of that party went viral, Oakly calling him out. However, that time he simply wrote, “f*ck you, @jakepaul.”
Paul didn’t seem phased and even retweeted Oakley’s post.
Experts Warn of Risks
While it’s not just influencers specifically who are hosting large get-togethers, the general sentiment online is that they could be sending the message that doing so is okay, and the consequences of spreading this virus are massive.
Dr. Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist who specializes in infectious disease told Mashable, “People who are in prominent positions in the media and in particular, these influencers, have exactly that: influence.”
“And they could be doing their part to help stop the spread of this virus. What we know right now is that masks and social distancing work. We cannot rely on any other kind of magic bullet. This virus doesn’t care whether or not you believe in it, this virus is going to spread.”
“Everybody needs to take responsibility…Our economy depends on it, our ability to get back to school depends on it, our ability to get back to normal depends on it. So everybody needs to be doing their part. There’s no excuse.”
In an interview with WedMD last week, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned people who might think they’re not vulnerable, that this type of thinking is not correct. He did not blame young people for the rise in cases, but he emphasized the importance of reaching them and said, “By allowing yourself to get infected or not caring if you do get infected, you are propagating a pandemic.”
“It doesn’t end with you,” he continued. “The chances are you’re going to infect someone else, who will then infect someone else, and then someone who’s vulnerable…will get infected.”
“That could be [somebody’s] father, mother, or grandmother. It could be a sick child who’s immunodeficient.”
“Then, all of a sudden you’re not operating in a vacuum. You’re part of the problem as opposed to being part of the solution.”
See what others are saying: (Mashable) (Insider) (Cosmopolitan)
Lil Nas X Starts Bail Project Fund After Releasing Prison-Set Video for “Industry Baby”
The singer said he is working to address “the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on the black community.“
Lil Nas X Starts Bail X Fund
Following the release of his latest single “Industry Baby,” Lil Nas X launched a partnership with The Bail Project that aims to cover bail funds for people across the country.
The music video for the song took place in the fictional “Montero State Prison,” a reference to the title of his upcoming album and the singer’s real name. While Lil Nas X spent much of his time online promoting the video with memes, he put a pause on the jokes Saturday to announce the Bail X Fund and bring attention to issues regarding incarceration in the United States.
“On a serious note, I know the pain that incarceration brings to a family,” Lil Nas X tweeted. “And the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on the black community. That’s why I teamed up with @bailproject to create the Bail X Fund.”
The Bail Project aims to eliminate cash bail in the U.S. It has posted over $47 million in free bail for over 17,000 low-income people across the country. It also provides post-release support and services to those who need them.
“Music is the way I fight for liberation. It’s my act of resistance,” Lil Nas X wrote in a statement on the fund’s website. “But I also know that true freedom requires real change in how the criminal justice system works. Starting with cash bail.”
The Fight to End Cash Bail
According to the Prison Policy Initiative, like many issues within the criminal justice system, cash bail disproportionately harms Black Americans. The group claims that Black and brown defendants are somewhere between 10% to 25% “more likely than white defendants to be detained pretrial or to have to pay money bail.” It also argues that Black men are 50% more likely to be detained pretrial than white defendants, and says Black and brown defendants generally “receive bail amounts that are twice as high as bail set for white defendants – and they are less likely to be able to afford it.”
Lil Nas X said he is “doing something” to address these issues and invited his fans to join him. He hopes that his efforts will encourage other artists to use their platforms to likewise speak about these injustices.
“Ending cash bail is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time,” he wrote. “Donate what you can to the Bail X Fund. Let’s bring people home & let’s fight for freedom and equality.”
A donation tab was attached to the song’s music video, where it says nearly $44,000 has been raised for the Bail X Fund. The video has blown up on YouTube, racking up over 31 million views. It remains the number one trending video in music as of Monday morning.
The song has likewise found success on Spotify, where it debuted at number two and eventually reached the number one spot.
Fire at Home Reportedly Owned by Beyoncé and Jay-Z Under Arson Investigation
Officials said there were no injuries or evacuations during the fire, which was put out in around two hours.
Fire Breaks Out at Famed Couple’s Reported Residence
A Wednesday fire at a historic home in New Orleans, Louisiana believed to be owned by music titans Beyoncé and Jay-Z is being investigated as a possible arson.
On Thursday, a New Orleans Police Department spokesperson confirmed to multiple outlets that it had received a tip about a suspicious person in the area. Further details about the suspicious person and the cause of the fire have not been revealed.
Neighbors told local media that there is an unlocked gate on the property that outsiders sometimes use to gain entry.
Officials told The New York Post that it took 22 firefighters over two hours to extinguish the blaze, with no reported injuries or evacuations. The extent of the damage currently remains unclear, but a spokesperson told The Post that given the age of the residence, the situation could have been far more severe.
“If [the firefighters] didn’t get there when they did, it could have been much worse,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a historic home.”
About the Home
The building was first built in the Garden District neighborhood of the city in the 1920s as a church. It was later used as a ballet school and then became a high-end residence in 2000. Realtor.com says it is currently valued at $3 million.
The home was purchased in 2015 by Sugarcane Parkin LLC. According to The Washington Post, this company has the same registered address as other entities owned by Beyoncé. Sugarcane Parkin is also allegedly managed by Beyoncé’s mother, Celestine Lawson, better known as Tina Knowles.
Representatives for the “Lemonade” singer and her husband have not issued any public statements about the incident, nor have they confirmed that the home is owned by the couple.
In March of this year, storage units in Los Angeles belonging to Beyonce were burglarized. According to TMZ, over a million dollars of goods were stolen, including expensive dresses and handbags.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Post) (NOLA)
Cleveland’s Baseball Team Changes Name From Indians to Guardians
The move marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans.
Name Change Announced
Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team said Friday that it will change its name after the 2021 season from the Indians to the Guardians.
The team announced the name change with a just over two-minute video narrated by actor Tom Hanks.
“You see, there’s always been a Cleveland — that’s the best part of our name,” Hanks says in the clip. “And now it’s time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team and this city.”
This marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans.
Despite long-running calls to change racist and offensive team names — including the Washington Redskins — such campaigns did not gain significant momentum until the nationwide racial reckoning that followed the murder of George Floyd.
Officials behind the Cleveland team first pledged to change the name last year and previously removed the “Chief Wahoo” logo, a caricature of a Native American character, from its uniforms following the 2018 season.
It toyed with several options before ultimately landing on Guardians, which draws from Cleveland’s architectural history.
“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a news release.
“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders.”
“‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”
Guardians will be the fifth name in franchise history, joining Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-14), and Indians (1915-2021).