Selena Gomez Can’t Seem to Quit Social Media
“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” The words of Mark Twain work surprisingly well when applied to Selena Gomez’s relationship with social media. The most followed woman on Instagram, fresh from a viral moment at the Golden Globes where she whispered something to Taylor Swift, announced to 428 million IG followers on Jan. 9 that she’s “off social media for a while” to focus on “what really matters” (with a pic of music producer boyfriend Benny Blanco). Her fans were less than shocked because it’s far from the first time the 31-year-old has put her phone face-down: She did it in 2018, in 2020, in February and again in November after receiving backlash over comments about the conflict between Israel and Hamas. “I’m done. I don’t support any of what’s going on,” she wrote. “I wish I could change the world. But a post won’t.”
After the most recent departure to start 2024, Gomez wasn’t gone for long as she posted a video clip the next day featuring her kitchen collaboration with chef Gordon Ramsey making a breakfast burger followed by an image of her attending an event for her Rare Beauty. As for how the back-and-forth affects her credibility, Kris Ruby, president of Ruby Media Group, a New York-based social media marketing agency, says it may not. “This is pretty normal. People often say, ‘I’m leaving to take a break and then they are back the next day. It speaks to the power of how addictive social media really is,” Ruby explains. “Social media is a powerful business tool, particularly for celebrities and social media influencers. It is very hard to walk away from that and those brand deals. It’s become so engrained in business culture that it’s almost required to be on platforms. The real question is for people who want to take a break: How can you use it to run your business while also taking a detox? And what is the right amount of time to take a personal detox? Even if it’s for a day, the goal is to stick with it.”
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Focus Features Capitalizes on Giamatti’s Viral In-N-Out Run
After a brutal 2023, Hollywood is back in business, and that means requisite awards season traditions are getting dusted off, too. Case in point: Following a heartfelt best actor speech at the Golden Globes, The Holdovers star Paul Giamatti graced the press room and then high-tailed it to Westwood where he joined his agent, UTA’s Billy Lazarus, manager Perri Kipperman, and publicist Molly Kawachi of ID-PR, for burgers and fries at In-N-Out on Gayley Avenue. A fellow diner posted a sneaky pic of the veteran actor enjoying his meal with a Golden Globe standing tall on the table while Giamatti looks down at his phone, presumably answering congratulatory text messages. The pic went viral — actor Michael Warburton shared the image on X, where it received 1.3 million views — and kudos to Focus Features (and communications firm Ginsberg/Libby) for capitalizing on the moment and sending out In-N-Out gift certificates to press. “Your health and stamina are of the utmost importance to us now that we’re in full swing with awards season. Unfortunately, In-n-Out doesn’t offer an intravenous vanilla shake option, so we figured a gift certificate would be the next best thing,” reads the offer email.
PAUL GIAMATTI keeping it real post his Golden Globes win last night , at the Westwood In-N-Out in L.A. pic.twitter.com/bmhbLhy3DB
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) January 8, 2024
Another double-double run took place the same weekend as Giamatti’s visit, though it didn’t get quite as much attention. Weird Al Yankovic cruised by a location fresh from the Jan. 6 Creative Arts Emmy Awards toting a trophy for outstanding television movie for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. (“Halfway to EGOT, baby,” he posted on IG.) According to one awards insider, casual moments like us can help give a campaign a boost because late-night fast food runs are so relatable. (“Stars, they’re just like us!” shared one Hollywood insider.) Other deep-fried entries in the let’s hit In-N-out after an awards show before heading home category include Aziz Ansari, Adele, Ang Lee and Julia Roberts, among others. “Wow, guys,” Giamatti said at the Critics Choice Awards after picking up another piece of hardware. “I didn’t think my week could get any better than going viral for eating a cheeseburger.”
Neve Campbell Says She’s Open to “Respectful Offer” for Scream Return
Neve Campbell, who played Sidney Prescott in five Scream films over 25 years, isn’t ruling out a return to the franchise. The latest installment has been in peril since November, when Melissa Barrera was fired over her social media posts regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Days later, it was revealed that Jenna Ortega had also exited, and a month after that, director Christopher Landon said goodbye. “I would not be surprised to get a call,” says Campbell, who dropped out in June 2022 over a pay dispute. “If they were to come back to me, it would have to be with a respectful offer that I felt was in keeping with what I bring to this franchise.” Full coverage here.
He’s Still Not That Jeffrey Epstein
In 2019, basically a lifetime ago, Rambling Reporter wrote about how a mild-mannered, well-liked Disney publicist found himself in a painful situation on social media following the arrest of accused pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein because they shared the same name. Confused users flooded his mentions and comments section so he added a middle initial to his bio — Jeffrey R. Epstein — and found support from famous pals like Yvette Nicole Brown (who posted, “He is not THAT Jeffrey Epstein yet his feed is in shambles. My bud, Jeffrey is a lovely guy who works for Disney. Nicest guy EVER.”) Well, unfortunately for the industry pro, who has since departed Disney and is consulting full-time, his feed is in similar shape after a judge unsealed new sets of filings from a court case involving deceased sex offender Epstein. “Guess it’s going to be that kinda week. Again,” the Hollywood Epstein posted on Instagram when the first wave of documents hit on Jan. 4. “Love all the hilarious comments about my ‘island’ and lists. I’m still not that Jeffrey Epstein. And after writing thousands of magazine articles, co-authoring two books, hosting 100+ episodes of the Disney Geek vlog, and hosting nearly 200 episodes of D23 Inside Disney, I feel like the ‘why don’t you change your name’ ship has sailed. But thanks.” Former top Sony marketing chief Andre Caraco even weighed in, “Hang in there.” He is, and he’s also intent on not generating yet another news cycle so he declined additional comment. That hasn’t stopped him from becoming a meme, either, with one social media user sharing one of his social media posts with a comment that the r in his name is “holding up the weight of the world.”
This story first appeared in the Jan. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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