CULTURE

Being Rude to Pete Davidson Will Cost $1 Million in NDA Fees

To be fair, the dude's been through a lot.

Imagine being allowed to impose a $1 million non-disclosure agreement before entering a conversation with someone who might dislike you.

Imagine that NDA giving you the right to destroy their phone if they're mean to you. Imagine how powerful that would make you feel.

Actually, you'd be wrong–you'd just feel like an insecure 26-year-old man who's, admittedly, had a tough year. Between being public about the toll that online bullies took on him after he and Ariana Grande split ("I just want you guys to know. No matter how hard the internet or anyone tries to make me kill myself. I won't"), a public suicide scare shortly afterwards, public struggles with mental illness, chronic autoimmune disease, and the eternal metaphysical quandary of "Is Pete Davidson Ugly-Hot?"–the dude's been through a lot.

This week, attendees at his recent stand-up shows have shared exactly how much they aren't allowed to share about the comedian. Apparently, in November, Davidson started sending NDAs to audience members on the day of his shows, which generally state: "By signing this agreement, you are agreeing not to discuss any details of the show you are about to watch or your experiences at this event." The penalty: "payment of $1 million in damages," plus any other legal fees.

pete davidson nda Facebook

Of course, attendees can choose not to sign it, but then they aren't allowed into the event; at least they get a full refund. A ticket holder named Stacy Young seemed to be the first to post the full NDA on Facebook. She wrote, "I understood and was willing to consent to the initial request of locking up any phones or cameras brought to the event, but I think this a bit ridiculous and over the top." Young added, "I get that comedians are protective of their jokes and don't want their routines rebroadcast, but it's rather Orwellian to not allow anyone to share an opinion on it. Don't perform for the public if you don't want people to have an opinion about it!"

Realistically, NDAs have become so common in recent years that they're sort of like anti-piracy laws of the early aughts: very threatening in their language but, through the magic of millennials not giving a f*ck, effectively moot. They're really more of a power move. Pete Davidson's power is as follows: "The individual [attendee] shall not give any interviews, offer any opinions or critiques, or otherwise participate by any means or in any form whatsoever (including but not limited to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or any other social networking or other websites whether no existing or hereafter created)."

On the bright side: Davidson recently filmed a Netflix special during his Bay Area show. So soon you can watch Davidson perform without mentally calculating how close to $1 million all your Apple products and streaming subscriptions add up to in value. On the downside, if you do plan on attending his show in the foreseeable future–no one wants your hot take on your lame blog, Karen!

pete davidson full nda

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Juice WRLD's posthumous release, Legends Never Die, has already sold over 400,000 copies, putting it in the running for the biggest release of 2020.

Meanwhile, Summer Walker confidently returns with a sleek new E.P., Kid Cudi and Marshall Mathers unite for the first time, James Blake quietly dropped a shadowy new track, and H.E.R. added a splash of reggae flavor to her new track "Do To Me." While it was a big week for the mainstream, it was equally as massive for the underground. Upcoming mumble emcee SahBabii's released an infectious collection of wavy, levitative hip-hop, and the iconic Fresh Veggies duo of Casey Veggies and Rockie Fresh return for their second outing. Check out the latest underground releases below.

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When Pete Davidson avoids wearing stage makeup on Saturday Night Live, it's a decision that I respect, but it concerns me.

Davidson has always rocked a sultry, exhausted, baggy-eyed look, but lately things seem to have spiraled out of control.

Variety

Whenever Davidson goes notably absent from SNL, he'll reappear with jokes about getting lost inside Stranger Things' Upside Down. He'll then emerge in his usual spot as a guest on Weekend Update alongside Colin Jost (who appears to be glowing with health in comparison, perhaps because he's married to a tree).

Throughout it all, I can never stop thinking about the sheer size and scope of the vast plum-colored shadows that surround Davidson's eyes. Like black holes or those doorways to the Upside Down, they almost resemble portals to other worlds.

Let's be clear: I'm a fan of Pete Davidson's appearance (against the majority of my better judgment). You have to admit that there's something to the super-tall, bleach-blonde, white-toothed, tattooed, I'm-clinging-to-life-by-the-smallest-thread aesthetic that he so effortlessly displays.

Or there once was. Now, Pete appears to be seriously pushing the boundaries between heroin chic and vampire who's gone vegan to save the planet. Since seeing him on the show, I haven't been able to sleep because I can't stop thinking about how little he's probably slept in the past few weeks. If anything, all this has only made my Pete Davidson obsession worse.

Ariana Grande - pete davidson (Audio) www.youtube.com


Weekend Update: Pete Davidson on Sexually Transmitted Diseases - SNL www.youtube.com

Sometimes I do wonder why I and so many others are attracted to Pete Davidson and similarly bedraggled, frequently bedridden types. There's that old, mostly incorrect stereotype that argues that women are only drawn to bad boys, but even if that stereotype were true, Davidson isn't exactly a James Dean or Ted Bundy. So why do we (and by we I mean me, Ariana Grande, Kate Beckinsale, and probably you, if you've read this far) love him so much?

Pete Davidson scholarship is a growing field, so there are plenty of theories. It could be the BDE, but some thinkers propose that Davidson is so alluring simply because he seems like a genuinely nice guy. Perhaps all his frank openness about his disorders, illnesses, and marijuana addiction make him seem honest, like the kind of guy who wouldn't, say, assault women and then lie about it.

Context could also have something to do with it. Urban Dictionary defines the Pete Davidson Effect as "when women are influenced by their peers in determining if a man is attractive or not."

There's also the innate impulse I have to try to help him, an impulse that I've intellectually transcended but that still lurks in my subconscious, rearing up like a recurring dream. This is absolutely the same impulse that Bailey Gismert, the teenage girl played by Heidi Gardner who appeared later on Weekend Update, thinks she could probably "help the Joker." (Davidson even connected himself to the Joker while on Weekend Update, saying, "And by the way Colin, I don't know if you've seen The Joker, but I think you should start being way nicer to me.")

Weekend Update: Bailey Gismert on Fall 2019 Movies - SNLwww.youtube.com

And perhaps this impulse is connected to an even more misguided and more deeply buried belief that some of us have that says if we only find someone more messed up than we are, we will gain the empathy and understanding that we really should have given to ourselves all along.

knowyourmeme.com

Or perhaps it's more. Perhaps Davidson's popularity and continued resonance are indicative of some kind of existential millennial/Gen-Z exhaustion, narrowly hidden under the guise of nihilistic meme-inspired humor—or could it be nothing at all?

In the end, Pete Davidson's dark eye circles have reminded me that I cannot save Pete Davidson or the Pete Davidsons of this life (only structural healthcare reform and a new form of religion that reintegrates meaning into our existence can do that job). I can only love them from afar, write articles about them on the Internet, and convince myself that I'm only ironically listening to "thank u, next." Unless...