Find out what Popdust users cared about the most in 2020.
Plenty has been said and written about the chaos of 2020.
Between the global health crisis, economic recession, political turmoil, and social justice movements that transfixed the world, it seems that something notable happened just about every day of this year.
At Popdust, we've made it our mission to cover the darkest and most bizarre corners of Internet and pop culture. So while other news outlets covered politics and vaccine development, we made sure you knew everything there was to know about things like QAnon, unsettling Twitter threads, awkward celebrity kisses, and viral videos.
Here are our top 10 most read articles of the year.
Jamal Murray and Harper Hempel
In late March, Denver Nuggets player Jamal Murray's Instagram story began to fill with a firestorm of strange content. Among this content was a video that appeared to show the basketball player receiving oral sex from his girlfriend, Harper Hempel. The videos were quickly deleted, with Murray claiming he'd been hacked. But that didn't stop Instagram users from screen recording the video, later using it to harass Hempel. As the article notes, "When it comes down to it, you can't call yourself a feminist, or even a decent human being, and continue to possess an intimate and sexually explicit video shared without the consent of the people who are featured."
One of our most controversial articles of the year, this piece discusses allegations of sexual assault brought against emo rapper and viral sensation Hobo Johnson. Allegations aside, a deep dive into his lyrics reveal a level of masculine manipulation masquerading as sensitivity. As noted in the article, "No matter how he treats women in real life, his artist persona and the attitudes he expresses in his music pose real dangers with potentially nauseating consequences."
Animal Crossing Villagers
As the world seemed to crumble around us in March 2020, millions of people turned to a more pleasant virtual reality for escape. Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch sold a record number of games, making it one of the most successful video games in history. Of course, with the game's popularity came a lot of strong opinions from devoted fans. Among the most contentious points to make the rounds online was the discussion of which Animal Crossing villager is the absolute worst.
Mackenzie Scott and Jeff Bezos prior to their divorce
Amazon CEO Jaff Bezos' ex-wife Mackenzie Scott announced in December 2020 that she had donated more than $4.1 billion to nearly 400 charities in recent months, focusing on areas and issues closely connected to the COVID pandemic.
In discussing her giving, she wrote, "This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling ... Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires." This seemed to some like an explicit call out of her ex- husband, who, in comparison to Scott, has donated very little of his vast fortune all while becoming exponentially richer throughout the pandemic.
6. Dolly Parton on Black Lives Matter: "Do We Think Our Little White Asses Are the Only Ones That Matter?"
Dolly Parton has had a big year in the realm of social activism. Not only did she partially fund the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, she also came out as a strong voice in favor the Black Lives Matter movement. "I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen," she said in the interview this summer. "And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little whites a**** are the only ones that matter? No!" she said.
James Franco and Amber Heard
The drama between Amber Heard and ex-husband Johnny Depp has been explosive, to say the least. In 2016, after filing for divorce, Heard claimed that Depp had been physically and verbally abusive to her, leading to years of court battles and emerging evidence of a relationship that was likely abusive on both sides. In 2020, Depp subpoenaed James Franco for supposed surveillance footage that proved Heard had faked the bruises on her face that she submitted as evidence of Depp's abuse.
While it's unquestionably a major step for LGBTQ+ rights and representation that Pete Buttigieg was able to make it as far as he did in the Presidential primaries, we had some questions. No, not about his platform, and no, not about the idea of a gay man in the White House, but about the way Pete and his husband kiss.
This heartbreaking story is about Quaden Bayles, a young boy who was born with dwarfism. In February of this year a video of Quaden struggling with the emotional toll of constant bullying went viral. Of course, the Internet being the seething cesspool that it is, strangers started to bully Quaden, claiming that he was lying about his age.
If you've somehow avoided hearing about it, QAnon is a fast-growing online conspiracy theory. As we explain in the article: "They believe that their mysterious prophet has awakened them to a reality that you and I will soon be forced to face: that global elites from Washington DC to Hollywood are part of a Satanic (possibly Jewish) cabal of murderous, cannibalistic pedophiles who torture children in order to harvest their adrenaline-rich blood and oxidize it into the addictive drug adrenocrhome."
QAnon's leader is an elusive figure named Q, who claims to have ties to the inner workings of the government. While Q's identity is supposedly a secret, he might not be as anonymous as he thinks.
Sean Hannity and Ainsley Earhardt
In June of this year, among the already chaotic terror of 2020, a new two-headed beast took center stage for a brief moment. Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, 58, and Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt, 43, began to date shortly after Hannity divorced his wife of 20 years, easily taking the spot for the worst couple in America. But just how bad are they? Read the full article and find out.