Culture Feature

14 Celebrity Endorsements That No One Asked For

Not every endorsement is about a paycheck.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

The world of celebrity endorsement makes for some strange spectacles.

From Penelope Cruz dressed as Mario, to Snoop Dogg rapping about Hot Pockets, it sometimes seems like celebrity's will back any brand that offers them a paycheck. But that's not the case with the celebrities on this list.

Keep Reading Show less
FILM

Is It Even Possible to Care About Robert Pattinson in "The Batman?"

People can find little details to obsess over in the new footage, but actually caring implies hope...

With director Matt Reeves' release of blood-red test footage, showing Robert Pattinson in costume for The Batman, one question comes to mind: Is it even possible to care?

It seems like just yesterday people were freaking out at the prospect of Ben Affleck playing Batman. After Christian Bale's virtuosic performance as a gravelly mumble personified, people scoffed at the notion of this iconic character being taken up by the star of 2003's smash hit Gigli. And they were kind of right. Not that Ben Affleck's performance was particularly bad, but the casting choice may have reflected a general lack of respect for the Batman legacy that would manifest in Batman shooting a bunch of people and the infamous "Martha" revelation.

www.youtube.com

And now Affleck has departed from the DCEU, Robert Pattinson has been brought on, and people who can best be described as terminally online are picking apart the minute details of the costume—comparing it to Affleck's Daredevil (from 2003's Daredevil), speculating about the out-of-frame ears, and doing some CSI photo enhancement to show that the bat symbol is made of guns. But does anyone really care? Is it even possible?

The outrage that would have erupted over this casting in 2015 would have set fire to server towers across the globe—"The fuc*ing guy from Twilight?! OMFGN%E^%$"—but Zach Snyder and DC have already done so much to erase the fan sentiments that Christopher Nolan's films built up. Even the shocking critical acclaim for Birds of Prey isn't enough to get people excited for the DCEU. The only thing that is still capable of working the fandom into a lather these days is imagining an alternate reality in which Zach Snyder is actually a secret genius who made a better version of 2017's Justice League that's hidden away in a vault somewhere—because, yes #ReleaseTheSnyderCut is trending again.

Honestly this might be the best scenario for Pattinson. He's had a chance to prove his chops as an actor with movies like The Lighthouse so—while he still seems a little improbable as an action hero—at least he's not just an emo heartthrob anymore. And as of last week, he's also riding high with his laughable ascension to the title of "most handsome man in the world." Couple all this with the fact that expectations for The Batman are so low, and Pattinson and Reeves have the chance to duck the fan pressure and really surprise us. It wouldn't be the first time that Batman has bounced back from an embarrassing era—even George Clooney's bat-nips and Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze couldn't kill the bat brand. But all of this is assuming that any of us will have the capacity to care, since caring takes hope.

george clooney batman nips Wherever you go, the bat-nips follow you...

The Batman is scheduled for release in June of 2021, so they still have a year and change to work up some enthusiasm for Pattinson's turn in the batsuit. Failing that, they could just say "fu*k it," and bring back Michael Keaton.

CULTURE

Robert Pattinson Can't Be "The Most Handsome Man in the World"

That concept is nonsense—and also, it's Jason Momoa.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

It's not just a comforting bromide to tell ugly children; it's an undeniable fact of our reality. Each individual's experience of the world is purely subjective—informed by personal history and unique brain chemistry—which is what makes it so absurd when the Daily Mail declares Robert Pattinson "the most handsome man in the world." We cannot share an identical response to any stimulus, which means that we will never achieve an objective measure of a fundamentally experiential quality like handsomeness. Whoever they chose would necessarily have been controversial—except, of course, the correct answer: Jason Momoa.

Jason Momoa Wet T-shirt

How does the Daily Mail even come to its conclusions? Did they do a survey of the entire world—sending photographers to every rural market in Zimbabwe and through the favelas of São Paulo? Did they spend their entire decade's budget on compiling images of the world's men, or do they not consider the plebeians outside their TV screens and magazine pages to be truly human? Are we not men to them? Clearly we are not, because if they had scoured our planet's bus stops and the secluded tribes of Papua New Guinea—seen every last one of us—they would have realized that there is no jawline as perfectly sculpted as Jason Momoa's, no brow that arches with so much intrigue and allure.

In reality, the Daily Mail made their conclusion based on consultation from cosmetic surgeon Dr. Julian De Silva, who has created a system for defining perfect beauty in mathematical terms. The system relies on the irrational number phi (1.618339…), and the ancient Greek concept of the golden ratio—also known as the "divine proportion"—which has been dubiously ascribed various significance. Dr. De Silva's system measures each feature of a person's face and how the features relate to one another with that ratio in mind. Last year he used his method to declare Bella Hadid the world's most beautiful woman. No doubt a lot of effort went into consolidating data on what people find attractive and fitting it to a theory of phi. It's actually an endeavor that makes a lot of sense for someone in Dr. De Silva's field, despite the limitations of codifying subjectivity and the factual reality of Jason Momoa.

Young Jason Momoa

That said, there are some obvious flaws in how those measurements are made—using only 2D images rather than a 3D scan—and it seems a bit weird that "the most handsome man in the world" would only align with about 92% of Dr. De Silva's Platonic ideal of a male face. But what is far more troubling—and possibly grounds to revoke his medical license?—is the fact that Dr. De Silva put in all this work and didn't take into account the existence of two piercing hazel eyes that squint pure joy directly at your soul each time Jason Momoa smiles.

To be fair, the star of The Lighthouse, and the Twilight series is technically a decent looking human male—as are Henry Cavill, Bradley Cooper, and the other men who ranked highly according to Dr. De Silva's system. Pattinson has some solid bone structure and a wild mane of hair that always looks a little dirty, but in kind of a fun way. If we're going to be as generous as possible, it would be appropriate to say that he's sort of a pasty, British, low-T Jason Momoa. But could he pick me up and hold me in his arms like an actual superhero—a Polynesian demi-god—and carry me away from all the world's pain while I hold tight to his beard and run one finger along the bold scar above his eye? No. He's not a sculpted 6'4" tower of benevolent muscle. He's a measly 6'1"—basically a 9th grade basketball player, and just as moody.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman

To put it simply, beauty is entirely subjective and impossible to quantify, and also the Daily Mail and Dr. De Silva are spreading blatant lies and committing Jason Momoa erasure. Canceled.

MUSIC

13 Celebrities Who Are Feeling the Bern

These stars have publicized their support for Bernie Sanders.

Recently, Twitter was gifted with visual documentation of Ariana Grande's biggest smile ever.

It occurred when the ponytailed pop princess met Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who attended Grande's Atlanta show in a delightful cable knit sweater. "MY GUY," read Grande's caption, essentially solidifying her endorsement in the 2020 election.

This is only the most recent example on a long list of celebrities declaring their love for Senator Sanders. Below, we're sharing just a few well-known stars and Internet personalities who have declared that they're feeling the Bern.

Weyes Blood

The musician Weyes Blood—whose incredible album Titanic Rising we named one of last year's best—started 2020 by meeting her candidate of choice. The singer-songwriter, real name Natalie Mering, shared a photo of herself and Sanders, publicizing her decision for the 2020 race.



Cardi B

"I been reading about Bernie Sanders and I'm really sad how we let him down in 2016," the "Bodak Yellow" rapper tweeted over the summer, emphasizing that improving the country has been a proven passion of his and "not a new front for a campaign." In August, the unlikely friends appeared in a campaign video together, in which Cardi interviewed Sanders about social issues especially relevant to his platform, including police brutality, DACA, and the student debt crisis—from a nail salon, naturally.

John Mulaney

Though Mulaney once subtly compared Donald Trump in the White House to a horse in a hospital, the Big Mouth comedian keeps his political opinions separate from his jokes. It might be surprising, then, to know that Mulaney donated at least $1,250 to Sanders' 2016 campaign. "I have a problem with 'Comedians are really brave and we need them now more than ever,'" he told Esquire this year. "It's like, we're not congressmen. We're court jesters." In that case, Mulaney's the most generous court jester we know.

Shailene Woodley

Woodley made headlines in 2016 after being arrested while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, but it didn't put a damper on her political activism. "I'm ready for the political revolution and all in it for Bernie Sanders," the Fault In Our Stars actress tweeted in June.

Mark Ruffalo

On a Late Show With Stephen Colbert appearance this month, Ruffalo explained that he's been feeling the Bern since the 2016 election. "The rest of the United States is just finally caught up to what [Sanders] has been doing his entire career. And you know that when he gets into office, he's going to be fighting for us," the Avengers: Endgame actor said.

Jaboukie Young-White

As a comedian and "actual young person" on The Daily Show, Twitter has become a major outlet for Young-White, so it makes sense that that's where he'd declare his endorsement. He kept it simple in the caption of a mirror selfie, in which he's wearing a Bernie t-shirt: "im a bernie bro."

Anthony Fantano

On his YouTube channel theneedledrop, Anthony Fantano has made a name for himself divulging his divisive opinions on music. But he has firm opinions on politics, too: "[Joe Biden's] brain is MELTING, and winning the primary will only lead to an inevitable implosion," the Internet personality tweeted after a Democratic debate in September. "Stop messing around with this fool and support other candidates—preferably Bernie."

Ezra Koenig

Koenig also supported Sanders in 2016, and said his band Vampire Weekend would like to "help out" the candidate in the 2020 election, too. But it's hard to match the energy of Sanders' first run: "I like to believe he's less of a sociopath than a lot of people who want to be president, but it's hard to be as excited as I was in 2016," Koenig told The Times. "That was the first time I felt deeply about a candidate."

Noname

Noname is no stranger to supporting a good cause—she started her own book club this year—and publicizing her endorsement of Sanders is only the latest on her to-do list of deeds. She simply tweeted the candidate's name with a green check mark emoji.

Miley Cyrus

Cyrus can also add activist to her resume, having founded the Happy Hippie Foundation to help trans and LGBTQ+ youth. It's no surprise that her views are in line with Sanders. When the senator shared Cardi B's tweet, he shared it on Instagram, to which the edgy pop star replied "True!"

Lil Yachty

Sanders fans were thrilled when the senator announced he was running for president again in February, and Lil Yachty was one of them. The red-dreadlocked rapper retweeted Sanders' campaign video with a straight-to-the-point "Let's gooooo" in solidarity.

Eric Andre

Sanders has long been vocal about legalizing marijuana, evidently a selling point for Eric Andre. "Can we please give this guy the keys to the whitehouse already?" the comedian implored on Instagram, captioning a photo promoting Sanders' plan for legalization.

Kim Gordon

Gordon, founding member of the iconic rock band Sonic Youth, used an adorable photo of her dog to share her endorsement: "Go Bernie!" she captioned an Instagram photo of her dog pawing a Bernie pin.

Top Stories

THE REAL REEL | A Letter For Letterman

Dear Dave... I'm Happy You Have A New Show..But I'm A Little Disappointed

Dear Dave,

I am thrilled you have a new show (My Next Guest Needs No Introduction) on Netflix. We missed you Dave, you calmed lots of white people throughout the years, and during this troubled political time, white people, (mostly men I am guessing?) missed your gently probing humor that offended no one… literally no one. If one were ever to be offended by you, it could only be for what you didn't say, not for what you did. And for the record, your face calmed me too, your new show lulled me to sleep with stressless humor and non-bipartisan jokes. Yes, you had Barack Obama on, and made America feel like everything was cozy again, and we tucked ourselves to sleep sucking our thumbs, our Zoloft kicking in, while you and Obama remembered the good ol'days.

But...Obama's not president and the second episode of your new show features the overly praised humanitarian efforts of George, "throw up in my mouth," Clooney. Again, Dave, I love what you (and Clooney) have brought to the entertainment industry, you have made us laugh, brightened our spirits in hopeless times, and I 100% see the value and necessity of humor. Most of my articles are written about comedians as I love them more than most living creatures and think they contribute to the overall wellbeing of our society. What I don't see the value in is 50% of your interview with Clooney, showing us how Clooney's family essentially saved an Iraqi (Hazim Avdal) man from Isis.

I am not sure which is more embarrassing to watch, the footage of George Clooney's father showing us the house the Clooney's are paying for Avdal to live in, or the interview with Avdal where he has to show his gratitude for the Clooney's generosity on camera. The public praising of this event and the request that its beneficiaries extoll public gratitude to the Clooneys, truly dampens the believability of any sincerity the Clooney's were going for and can only serve to at least slightly humiliate Mr. Avdal.

In a time of Black Lives Matter, #Metoo, a democracy that is starkly torn down the middle, and immigration policy that looks like Nazi Germany, I was hoping for more… or maybe less…less obvious chivalry. Of course one of the wealthiest men in Hollywood (Clooney) is giving back. How gross would it be if he wasn't? And yes, the show title does suggest some obviousness to the intended ubiquity of the guest…but the interview with Clooney didn't have to be so base. Without conflict or laden with fluff. Here is a handsome Hollywood lead, here is his pretty and smart wife, and here is the selfless work that they do. I was listening to Dax Shepherd's new Podcast today, and he credits Jason Bateman in saying "there is nothing funny about perfection." There is also nothing transformative about it. In a time like today, can mega stars like Dave be held to a new standard? Is that not a fair request? A standard that demands transformative content?

Perhaps it is an unfair request. I admit it truly might be. I just have to explain that as a woman watching this show, seeing this 70 year old man, with likely little to no fuss over hair and make up needed to be on TV, sporting a fully grown-out grey beard, white socks peeking through his black suit, looking old and wise, and happy…I was jealous and maybe a little angry. How many women do we see on TV, 70 years old, makeup-less, un-quaffed, and able to interview anyone they want, and then given that choice, pick George Clooney, practically revering him as the white savior of the Middle East? Dave, perhaps I am just jealous?

Perhaps I am angry that I can't think of another equally famous 70-year-old woman, also likely sporting a grey beard, that has been given the opportunity to present to American audiences, likely because American audiences wouldn't listen. She would be too old, too womanly, and too invisible. But if you have the opportunity to greet America… would it be fair to ask that you leverage your exposure to shine a light on some of it's slightly more unsung heroes? And maybe even be just a smidge more contrary, challenging of convention, and dare I say, provocative? I know your just the funny harmless white guy who makes other funny harmless white guys smile… but it seems in 2018, that's just not enough.

cdn1.thr.com

Sincerely your mouthy fan,

Rachel

PS: Yes, I know your next guest is Malala Yousafzai and that is fantastic.


By Rachel Hall, Rachel has a Masters in Cultural Gender Studies, and a BA in Communication & Culture, and works with all kinds of people to improve their ability to work with all kinds of people. She can often be found hiding in her laundry room from her two children. More about her on her website.


POP⚡ DUST | Read More…

THE REAL REEL | Not Just For Lesbians

THE REAL REEL | Aziz Ansari: Sexual Assault or Idiot At Fault

THE REAL REEL | Sarah Silverman Loves America, But How Does America Feel?

Amal Clooney will let you join her for a power lunch, at a modest price of just $2,200! In Clooney dollars, this is equal to a small designer handbag. The money will get you a meet-and-greet, and a photo with Amal herself!

This exciting opportunity will take place in October, when Amal is speaking on workplace equality at the Women World Changers Summit in Australia.

Tickets for the conference are $895, but who among us would hesitate to shell out for the VIP meet-Amal package at only $2,200?

Really, the price is minuscule compared to the cost of dinner with Amal and George at their Hillary Clinton fundraising bash. Tickets for that event went for $44,000, but one special couple paid $353,000 to sit with the Clooneys.

Before marrying George Clooney in 2014, Amal was just a junior lawyer with a penchant for short skirts and high-profile human rights cases. While once she was happy to advise dictators and to wear the same outfit more than once, Amal has been elevated by her marriage to celebrity status.

She has been busy flying around giving talks and press conferences, and appearing beside George at red carpet events.

Earlier this week, People reported that Amal doesn't work with a stylist, but rather hand picks every outfit herself. This fiction was passed on by William Banks-Blaney, founder of WilliamVintage, an upscale boutique that has become a favorite of Mrs. Clooney. He confided in an interview:

Amal has impeccable taste and understands fashion perfectly, irrespective of whether the piece is from WilliamVintage or from the contemporary collections.

Amal has been shopping at Williams since 2015, so it looks like her impeccable taste emerged only after marrying. But that happens, right?

In any case, Amal's stylist is John Galliano’s long-time partner, Alexis Roche. But if she wants credit for picking out the over-priced and age-inappropriate frocks and accessories she's been splurging on, so what.

Amal has reinvented herself, which is hard work, and if she's a little caught up in her own PR, let's forgive her.

Now, what's for lunch??