Then, in a bid to get the single to the top of the Billboard charts, you urge your international fans to game the system by using a streaming VPN so the plays count towards US chart numbers, while also suggesting they keep the track playing at a low volume on repeat while they go to sleep. Imagine after doing all that, it still only reaches #2, outpaced by the meme-worthy squeaky hook of rapper Roddy Ricch’s infectious The Box. That’s an embarrassing way to start the 2020s.
Depending on who you talk to, Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globes hosting job was either a monumental torching of lurid Hollywood hypocrisy or a “massive pile of dogs—“.
The comedian’s “outsider” bit ended up cultivating such a nutty gaggle of reactionary fans he had to come out on Twitter and explicitly explain that he “didn’t roast Hollywood for being a bunch of liberals. I myself am a liberal.” Days later the Globes announced that Gervais was being replaced at next year’s ceremony by fan favourites Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, a turn of events easily funnier than any joke Gervais could’ve made.
Lovable star Vanessa Hudgens doesn’t need our pity, but let’s give it to her anyway. From 2005 to 2010, she dated High School Musical co-star Zac Efron, only to split just as he made his butterfly transition to big-screen heartthrob. This week, it was announced that Hudgens had split from partner of eight years (and five Coachellas, as Vulture deadpanned) Austin Butler, just after he scored the lead role in Baz Luhrmann’s coming big-budget Elvis Presley biopic.
Such bad timing – put in all that work and don’t get to enjoy the spoils and publicity boost that superstar coupledom brings? It’s sad but there’s a lesson here: buy stocks in whoever Vanessa Hudgens is dating next, you’ll be rich by 2026.
The Royal Family
Oh boohoo, the lady from Suits doesn’t want to be in a family of polo-lovers anymore. I can understand why the Queen cares – it’s like that time when I was nine and I woke up and started playing my Sega Master System before giving my abuela a good morning kiss and she cried – and also the tabloids, because now they have to wait for William to divorce Kate and marry, I dunno, Rihanna before they can get back to hitjob-ing royals, but everyone else: don’t you have your own sad families to bitch about? I’m sure your uncle has a gambling habit, look into it.
The revered author, and Oscars voter, decided to jump into this week’s debate around the lack of diversity among the nominees’ field with an unexpected hot-take: “I would never consider diversity in matters of art,” he tweeted. “Only quality.” After a string of criticism in which, among others, filmmaker Ava DuVernay labelled his viewpoint “backward and ignorant”, King conceded that under-represented minorities deserved a “fair shot”, adding “You can’t win awards if you’re shut out of the game”.
He hasn’t tweeted since, which is the correct response to a self-inflicted backlash; probably in his bedroom angrily listening to Buckcherry (he loves Buckcherry, it’s weird).
There you have it, good start to the 2020s. At this pace we’ll run out of untarnished celebrities by February.
Robert Moran is a culture reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age