Several parties over the weekend have sparked controversy online as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the United States. From coast to coast, exclusive parties in places like New York, Miami and Los Angeles took place over the weekend and were highly publicized on social media. But as millions of Americans face potential homelessness as the economic and public health crises continue, social media users were quick to criticize these celebrities for their actions.
YouTube stars Tana Mongeau and James Charles have come under fire for attending a birthday party at the Hype House, an influencer mansion in Los Angeles that houses a collective of TikTok stars that once included Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, who were also allegedly in attendance. The party, which was on July 21st, was in attendance by a handful of influencers that have since seen criticism online.
Most notably were Mongeau and Charles, who documented their time at the party on their own social media pages. Charles later released a “Day in the Life” video on YouTube that was filmed on the day of the party, but Charles removed the footage taken at the party after being called out by Tyler Oakley.
Both Mongeau and Charles later apologized for their behavior, reminding their followers that social distancing is more important than going to parties right now, despite the fact that they did not follow their own advice. Charles’ “Day in the Life” video was originally supposed to include footage from the party, but instead contained a disclaimer about COVID-19 on a black background. Mongeau received similar backlash on social media over her attendance at a party after uploading a video to social media in which she can be seen saying “Listen, we don’t f*ck*ng care, sorry.”
Mongeau later apologized for the video, saying that attending a party during a pandemic was “a careless and irresponsible action on my behalf.” Mongeau was previously married to YouTube star Jake Paul, who currently faces legal charges for looting a P.F. Changs in an Arizona mall during the George Floyd protests in June.
Other celebrity DJ’s like The Chainsmokers and Kaskade also came under fire over the weekend for playing at parties in Miami and The Hamptons that drew negative attention. In a video that was first posted to an Instagram account called @laurendekok, Kaskade can be seen DJ’ing on a boat in Miami for a crowd at a private event. Miami is currently the global hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic with over 105,000 confirmed cases in Miami-Date county alone. Neither Kaskade nor his team have made a public comment regarding the event.
Another party in The Hamptons drew criticism on Twitter after photos of the event, which was advertised as a “drive through” social distancing concert showed tightly packed crowds at a fundraising event for an undisclosed charity. Videos from the event show massive crowds gathered in front of the DJ booth. The event claims it was enforcing social distancing rules, but many argue that the videos clearly show no distancing going on.
The reality, though, is that parties like these are all too common in some of America’s largest cities, where the exclusivity of nightclub and guest list culture have only piqued the interest of promoters interested in earning a quick buck at this time. One party on the roof of a New York apartment building garnered negative attention online when the building’s residents stormed the party’s live stream to ask that the party be shut down as several people in the building are considered high-risk. The party, thrown by a blog called EDMIdentity, allegedly had more than the legal limit of 25 people in attendance.
Events like these garner a very specific type of criticism as most of the music industry lies in shambles due to COVID-19 related shutdowns. While many see the surface of the industry in high paid artists like Kaskade and The Chainsmokers, the music industry would be nothing without the promoters, stagehands, lighting and sound design, artist managers, and security personnel that make these events happen. While one event might mean that a few industry workers were given a single job, events that put the public at risk of extending the crisis means that the majority of the industry won’t see a revival for that much longer.