During a pandemic, society was not suffering enough, according to these celebrities.
After a pandemic-plagued 2020, this year was poised to be better, but with numerous setbacks, media hysteria, political opportunism, and any number of other dismaying events, the year became a slog for many. Adding to this dysphoria was a bevy of celebrities who demanded attention. It only made matters worse.
It was as if the severe lockdowns of the prior year meant the gradual reopening was their opportunity to reclaim whatever relevance they may have possessed. After all, it is their job to be the center of attention, so there was a lot of fawning that needed to be made up for this year. So as they glommed camera-time and logged social media entreaties we had to suffer the re-inflation of their egos.
Here is a list that is by no means exhaustive, nor comprehensive, but it fills the need to recognize these luminaries one last time. Just not in the way they intended.
GWYNETH PALTROW — The sometime actress and full-time self-promoter was constantly barraging social media and lifestyle outlets with her pronouncements. The best example is that she celebrated Earth Day on Instagram — with a pic of herself, in a bikini. We learned of her horror during quarantine when she was reduced to eating bread. At her wellness and lifestyle website, GOOP (yes, seriously), she offered for sale the “Smells Like My Vagina” candle. The only thing more insufferable was the $75 price, before taxes and shipping.
Mitigating Detail: Gwyneth reportedly contracted COVID, and as a result, she suffered brain fog.
Gwyneth's money-maker candle'
BUBBA WALLACE — Following last year's contrived noose controversy, the black NASCAR driver received not only support from most of the field but full backing from team owner and NASCAR legend Richard Petty. Wallace rewarded that support by switching teams this season. He won a rain-shortened race this year, thus becoming the second black driver to win on the circuit. He also became insufferable. He raised ire with a comment on the Rittenhouse verdict, falling prey to the claims of racism. Then recently, ESPN featured Wallace in a documentary where he insisted the noose story – debunked by the FBI – was still valid, telling the channel he still did not forgive those who did not support him properly…over a false story.
Mitigating Detail: Immediately after saying Rittenhouse would not have been acquitted if he was black, black defendant Andrew Coffee IV was acquitted for self-defense.
SETH ROGEN — He kicked off the year picking a fight with Ted Cruz and was well above his weight class in the battle of wits. He walked away from his best friend and collaborator of 20 years, James Franco, over the sexual assault claims. When a video celebrity complained his car in L.A. had been broken into, Rogen defended the city from claims it is a hellhole — by noting he has had cars broken into 15 times. This summer, he lectured to comedians to stop whining about cancel culture and to own their past bad jokes — the stoner comedian who uses the F-word like a conjunction. When he released an unorthodox and unfunny Christmas comedy he accused those criticizing the animated fictional Santa feature made by a lily-white Canadian of being white supremacists.
Mitigating Detail: He actually called out the hypocrisy at The Emmy Awards for allowing the stars to go without masks.
PETE DAVIDSON — The Saturday Night Live cast member has managed to be a regular news fixture despite being consistently unfunny. For reasons that defy logic, he is a lothario with famous hot women, as the New York Post described: But it is Pete's busy and chaotic love life that's drawing even more attention than his acting roles or drug use. Numerous reports were made about how he wants to have his numerous tattoos removed. This detail was highlighted as he inexplicably appears in a SmartWater commercial, talking about the raft of bad decisions he has made in his life. Not a cagey move — choosing a spokesman who tells us why he should not be listened to.
Mitigating Detail: He appeared in “The Suicide Squad,” but that potentially bad move was remedied by his character being dispatched very early.
LEBRON JAMES — The NBA's star has been on a social activist kick the past few years – except in regards to human rights in China. He has been challenged on this topic by the outspoken player Enes Kantor, and James only looks at the Nike millions and pipes down. The company even came out this year and described Nike as, “a brand of China and for China.” He had fans ejected from a game for taunting him. His long-delayed remake of “Space Jam” was released to yawns. For no discernable reason, James felt the need to weigh in on the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
Mitigating Detail: James actually had some lucid comments about COVID and vaccines recently.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
JIM CRAMER — In much the same way people tell athletes to just shut up and dribble, Cramer had people delivering a variation about stock quotes. The rabid CNBC host decided to go off on regular rants and tweets about COVID vaccines, even suggesting that government-forced shots were a fine idea. He then suggested opposing him meant you are anti-science. A recent tweet from him showing empty store shelves had the host scorched for not realizing they are clearing space for Valentine's Day. He followed the Biden White House directive to act as a fluffer on the economy.
Mitigating Detail: After screeching about mandated vaccines the twice-shot and boosted Cramer tested positive for COVID.
— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) December 20, 2021
CHRISSY TEIGEN — John Legend's wife has had a turbulent year, due mostly to her obsession with social media, leading to her allegedly canceling then reopening accounts. She was called out for past examples of cyberbullying, and then offered deep apologies. Then more examples of her attacks surfaced. After laying low for a while, she resurfaced again, only to be criticized for a tone-deaf party she held based on the violent show “Squid Game.” Then she was mocked heavily for displaying to the world her eyebrow surgery.
Mitigating Detail: While she seems remorseful over her activity, it only seems to have dawned on Teigen after being dropped from the Safely cleaning products company she launched, and heaving her line of cookware removed from Bloomingdales, Macy's, and Target stores.