Blockout 2024 movement explained: Why are A-list celebrities losing followers amid Met Gala outrage? | Hollywood

Blockout 2024 movement explained: Why are A-list celebrities losing followers amid Met Gala outrage? | Hollywood

2024 isn’t the first time the Met Gala’s pompous affairs have synonymously drawn parallels with The Hunger Games, and it probably won’t be the last. While underneath the frills and the mega grandeur pushed by the event’s annual Red Carpet, the Benefit bolsters a foundation to support arts as a high-end fundraiser, its high-end, otherworldly position distances itself from the ground realities of more humane and humbler origins.

Worldwide netizens have kick-started the 'Blockout 2024' digital campaign to de-platform celebrities for not using their influential platforms (packed with millions of followers) to advocate for a ceasefire amid the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict that birthed the heart-rending humanitarian crisis for Palestinians in Gaza.
Worldwide netizens have kick-started the ‘Blockout 2024’ digital campaign to de-platform celebrities for not using their influential platforms (packed with millions of followers) to advocate for a ceasefire amid the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict that birthed the heart-rending humanitarian crisis for Palestinians in Gaza.

This year’s outrage against the Met Gala particularly drove a case against its grandiose, ostentatious presentation with deafening bombs and ammunition blowing off in the distance, with Israel and Hamas taking up arms against each other. Simultaneously, civilians in the Gaza Strip face the wrath of one of the worst humanitarian crises. The staggering number of innocent lives lost has only escalated with Israel stepping up the ravages of war in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah.

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Earlier this week, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) ordered Palestinians to evacuate Rafah to push for a one-on-one offensive with the Palestinian militant movement Hamas. As reported by BBC earlier today, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry declared on Saturday that at least 34,971 people have been killed in Gaza since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel. Moreover, UN officials have also spoken about the pressing issue of food shortages in south Gaza due to the closure of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings.

With more and more heart-rending news from the war-struck landscape coming to light every hour, the growing uncertainty of the issue is heavily weighing against civilian lives. In the meantime, an accurate picture of wealth inequity pervades through the evident divide across continents, with A-list celebs strutting down the ethereally aesthetic Garden of Time on May 6, rising above the rubble that has birthed generations-worth of trauma on the other side of the world.

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How is the general public dealing with this? In an age when the click of a button harnesses an unimaginable power, netizens are actively choosing to distance themselves from once-loved international stars by blocking them on social media.

What is the Blockout 2024 Movement?

In an epoch of digital petitions and widespread campaigns that can be forwarded online, TikTok users have called the Blockout 2024 trend to attention. The “deplatforming of celebrities” campaign kicked off this week as a clear-cut response to the 2024 Met Gala held on Monday.

The collective effort pushed by TikTok creators has birthed popular hashtags like #letthemeatcake, #celebrityblocklist and #blockout as netizens publicly denounce high-profile figures for staying mum on the ongoing humanitarian crisis. While the 2024 Oscars witnessed a good number of celebrities voicing their political expression by wearing a red pin in support of Artists4Ceasefire, advocating against Israel’s attacks on Gaza, the Met Gala walked a different walk, restricting its conversations merely around a vast display of wealth.

Explaining the pin’s meaning in a statement, the group asserted it “symbolizes collective support for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, the release of all of the hostages and for the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.” Check the Artists4Ceasefire website here.

The Met Gala blocklist frenzy has been gradually taking off for the past few months as fans continue to call out celebrities who’ve either maintained their silence on the issue or not spoken enough. However, after the Gala, the campaign became a full-fledged movement as netizens shared their celebrity blocklists across platforms – even X/Twitter.

Per NPR, Marcus Collins – an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Michigan – described the Met Gala as a “bit of a hyperbolic moment that got a lot of people’s attention. Continuing how the Benefit further fanned the flames for pre-existing celebrity boycotts, he said, “The celebrity boycotts had existed, but they weren’t really at the top of the social zeitgeist. But then you have a moment like the Met Gala that wasn’t really related to the conflict, but the pieces were all at play. When the attacks [in Gaza] were happening the same day, the juxtaposition just got people talking and moving.”

Also read | Israel orders new evacuations in southern Gaza in Rafah amid expanded operations

The boycott or blocking campaign hopes to exert pressure on these public figures to use their massive influential platforms to spread the word on advocating for ceasefire calls.

Collins explained, “The hope is that it will either bring more visibility to the cause and shift the balance in getting political forces like the U.S. government to do something to mitigate the violence that’s happening in the Middle East.” However, he also added, “as rational as that logic may seem, I don’t think there are very many examples where this has actually worked.”

Then why are people endorsing these campaigns? As Collins puts it aptly, with the general public stuck in a powerless rut, encouraging people to voice their stance at such junctures actively helps “provide some sense of agency.” “A sense that I’ve done something to influence other people to do something that perhaps maybe might make a difference. Because in the minds of those folks, it’s better than doing nothing,” he continues.

Haley Kalil criticized for ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ Met Gala video

Social media also collectively furiously turned against model/influencer Haley ‘Baylee’ Kalil for sharing a video of lip-syncing the infamous line “Let them eat cake” from Sophia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette.

The French Queen allegedly said these words, addressing the peasants’ bread shortage. Once again, as a representative of royal decadence, the Queen was deemed detached from the plight of starving peasants in this imagery.

Earlier this week, Kalil’s video invited backlash as she, too, posted the video while sporting an affluent gown near the star-studded Met Gala venue. Haley later claimed that she wasn’t invited to the Gala, but was merely a pre-Met Gala host for E! News. However, the damage was already done as netizens condemned her “insensitive” video as lines between fiction and reality blurred, akin to how society’s affluent elite in The Hunger Games viewed teenagers fighting for survival as a televised sport.

Celebrity blocklist revealed

TikTok user @ladyfromtheoutside sparked interest with her video two days ago, asking people to conduct a “digital guillotine” or “digitine”,  drawing parallels with how Marie Antoinette was guillotined on being convicted of high treason against the French Republic. In her TikTok, posted as a response to Haley’s video, she urged people to block influencers, celebrities and wealthy socialites “who are not using their resources to help those in dire need.”

The grand list of celebrity blocklist consists of popular names such as Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Kylie Jenner, Zendaya, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Khloe Kardashian, Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Demi Lovato, Lizzo, Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Zac Efron, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Justin Timberlake and many others.

As the movement has picked up momentum since the Met Gala, TRT World also shared a video capturing the dropping number of these celebrities’ online followers in real time.





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