August 07, 2022

A rundown of the many celebrity controversies that have been dominating the entertainment news cycle.

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f the last few days have taught us anything – and it’s safe to assume they haven’t taught us much – it’s that celebrities haven’t exactly been on their best behaviour of late. Their transgressions have been busy making headlines, while the Internet has been having a field day roasting the famouses for their controversial decisions and debatable behaviours.

Just ask Taylor Swift.

In a bid to “highlight the damaging impact of private jet usage,” sleuths at the sustainability marketing agency Yard went through recent data collected by the Celebrity Jets Twitter page (CelebJets), which monitors the usage of private planes by celebrities. Their conclusion: the average celebrity has created 3376.64 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2022 so far this year; that’s over 482.37 times more than the average person’s annual emissions!

The worst celeb contributor to climate change? Ms. Swift, whose private plane has racked up 170 flights in the first 200 days of 2022. The carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere courtesy of the popstar’s plane during these past 7 months – an estimated 8,293.54 metric tons – is the equivalent to what 1,184 average people would emit in a year.

Her spokesperson swiftly – no pun intended – released a statement saying that “Taylor’s jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals.” So, it’s all ok, you guys. She isn’t even on many of these flights. Other people fly in her jet, so its carbon footprint totally doesn’t count! EVERYTHING IS FINE!

Other environment offenders who are too good to fly commercial like the rest of us: boxer Floyd Mayweather, rapper Jay-Z, former baseball player Alex Rodriguez, and singer Blake Shelton, who rounded up the top 5 in Yard’s list. The Earth is just going to have to suck it.

Also publicly shamed online was singer Ne-Yo, who was blasted by his wife, Crystal Renay, for cheating on her for eight years. After she expressed her heartbreak and disgust in an Instagram post, Ne-Yo released a statement saying “personal matters are not meant to be addressed and dissected in public forums” and asked for respect for him and his family’s privacy. Which is fair enough, except maybe he should have thought of that and shown some respect to his family himself in the first place?

Meanwhile, Will Smith released a nearly six minute long apology video on his YouTube channel, expressing remorse over the infamous Oscars slap. Viewers weren’t particularly impressed; the general consensus seems to be that the apology comes four months too late and feels like damage control. And from the looks of it, Chris Rock still doesn’t seem to have any plans to reach out to the actor. While performing at a show, he appears to have indirectly responded to Smith’s latest comments with the quip: “If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith,” referencing Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight, who is currently serving 28 years in prison for manslaughter.

Elsewhere, Beyonce faced backlash for using an ableist slur on ‘Heated’, one of the songs on her new album Renaissance. Which, given the whole Lizzo and ‘Grrrls’ situation, is something you’d think someone on her team would have caught before the song’s release. Like Lizzo, Queen Bey responded to the criticism from disability advocates by removing the word from the song which will now be rerecorded.

Also, Shakira is in a bit of a financial pickle. Spanish authorities are prosecuting the Colombian singer – who also came under scrutiny when her name appeared in the Paradise and Pandora Papers – for tax fraud crimes. They are seeking an eight-year prison sentence as well as a €24 million fine for alleged tax evasion to the tune of €14.5 million between 2012 and 2014. Who would’ve thunk that while her hips don’t lie, her tax returns might!

Oh and Louis Tomlinson made headlines when he said he thinks One Direction’s debut album “was s—t“, which ... yeah, can’t argue with that. –S.A.

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