Brad Pitt and other stars who got caught breaking covid lockdown rules
While the country of Belgium, which has the third-highest coronavirus death rate per capita in the world, underwent yet another strict lockdown in March 2021, The Mirror reported that Brad Pitt flew into the country and visited a Brussels' museum as if there was nothing going on. Citizens from Belgium and other covid-stricken nations have responded with indignance.
According to The Mirror, the Hollywood star was on a so-called "working trip" to the Belgian capital. He reportedly got "a private guided tour of an art gallery, even though it's closed to the public due to the pandemic." In fact, Brad Pitt visited his friend Thomas Houseago, a British artist who is currently preparing an exhibition in the city. The motive Pitt gave for entering the locked-off country, per The Mirror, was to "support" his friend.
Brad Pitt is not the only one to make a "non-essential" trip or event while these are forbidden due to the coronavirus pandemic. What is up with birthday parties and with celebrities and influencers not following covid-19 restriction rules?
Read on to see who else failed to follow their respective state and country guidelines or had unfair privileges due to their status as famous people.
Bollywood celebrity and interior designer Sussanne Khan was caught in a Mumbai nightclub raid that hosted several people, including many other prominent Indian celebrities. The nightclub, Dragonfly, had been open and not following Indian pandemic regulations such as by enforcing mask-wearing, and for operating within official mandated hours, NDTV reports.
(Image: suzkr on Instagram)
Along with her and caught in the raid are cricketer Suresh Raina and Guru Randhawa, among other celebrities -- they all together have police cases filed against them for their presence in the nightclub.
(Image: suzkr on Instagram)
In February, Seolhyun from K-pop girl group AOA posted a picture of her in a building overlooking the scenery of New York on her Instagram. Her post has met with huge backlash from netizens with them criticizing her for being overseas and enjoying her time there while many are dying from the virus, South China Morning Post reports.
(Image: FNC Entertainment)
Although the star was in America for New York Fashion Week allegedly for work, many agree that the post was made in bad taste, given that many across the globe have been denied a privilege such as hers due to the pandemic.
(Image: sh_9513 on Instagram)
Singaporean actor Maxi Lim is best known for his role in the hit movie franchise ‘Ah Boys to Men’. He was due to be wedded during the pandemic, and The Straits Times reports that the actor decided to postpone the nuptial due to COVID-19 as it was “the most socially responsible thing to do”. The reception was finally held last December at One Degree 15 Marina, on the island of Sentosa Cove.
(Image: Fly Entertainment)
Images of the event have been uploaded onto social media, and netizens noted that not a single person in attendance was following Singaporean social distancing regulations.
The actor and those in attendance are now under investigation for the breach of COVID-19 regulations in the event, and One Degree 15 Marina has been fined for their non-compliance and lax in enforcing government regulations.
(Image: originalmaxi on Instagram)
Kendall Jenner threw a birthday party to celebrate her 24th birthday in Los Angeles. According to USA Today, the party had a specific ‘no posting on social media’ rule.
Celebrity attendees such as The Weekend, Winnie Harlow, and Jaden Smith were seen maskless at the event.
(Image: NBC Universal Television)
Kendall and those who attended the party have since faced a lot of public backlash from the event as photos from it circulated online. Some have also criticized the celebrity attendees for their hypocritical behaviour in attending the party in spite of them asking the public to follow COVID-19 guidelines on their social media.
Tom Hanks was one of the first few celebrities to have gotten COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic. As he and his family have personally felt what it was like to have COVID-19, the actor was one of the few respected by the public due to his harsh and fervent stand against those who treat the pandemic lightly, such as those who refuse to follow mask-wearing guidelines.
In an ironic twist, Yahoo News reported that since flying into Queensland for work, the actor was granted an exception by Queensland authorities in being allowed to quarantine in a private residence instead of going through with mandatory quarantine in a hotel.
A quote from Opposition leader Deb Frecklington criticizing the exemption: “Everyday Australians don’t get to pick and choose where they quarantine and neither should celebrities.”
The actor and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk have been criticized for the double standards. However, the news later reported that Tom Hanks followed through with guidelines by choosing to quarantine in a hotel instead. Thank you for choosing to be responsible, Mr. Hanks!
Flying into Australia to work on the filming of ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’, Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban were supposed to serve the mandatory 14-day quarantine in a designated hotel by the Australian government.
Alike Tom Hanks, the A-list actress and her husband were instead allowed to isolate with their daughters in their Sutton Forest private estate. Forbes has commented on the disparity in quarantine treatments that celebrities are granted versus the common populace -- contrasting the freedoms that Kidman and her family have enjoyed in being able to quarantine in their spacious mansion with other quarantiners having to “battl[e] it out behind closed hotel doors, not allowed to open a window for fresh air”.
This Manhattan-based YouTube influencer doctor used to be one of the darlings of the YouTube and medical world and was counted on as one of the major role models and information sources people go to for reliable medical information and on what to, or what not to do during the pandemic.
However, influencer doctor Mikhail Varshavski was caught flying over to Miami to attend a yacht party where all attendees were not following pandemic protocols like social distancing or wearing a mask.
(Image: Doctor Mike on YouTube)
From 7news, the images sparked outrage and netizens have been calling the doctor a “hypocrite” for ignoring his own COVID-19 advice and for flying and gathering for non-essential purposes. Many netizens have expressed their disappointment online in Dr. Mike for his unlawful and unethical behaviour that was unbecoming of a licenced medical professional.
(Image: doctor.mike on Instagram)
Similar to Kendall, Kim Kardashian also celebrated her 40th birthday on a private island with several other celebrity attendees and photos have landed on social media showing attendees maskless and not socially distancing.
In an act of social responsibility, Kim acknowledged her privilege in being able to host this party and detailed the measures taken to ensure it does not become a super spreader event on her Twitter.
Despite so, she has faced public backlash for being ‘tone-deaf’ in hosting an extravagant party in a climate where many are suffering physically, emotionally and financially from the pandemic.
Next on the list is Singaporean actor Jeffrey Xu. To celebrate his 32nd birthday, Jeffrey Xu held a reported 13-person gathering at a residence. According to The Straits Times, those in attendance included Singaporean celebrities like actor Jeremy Chan, Julie Tan and 987FM DJ Sonia Chew.
The 13-person gathering was not in accordance with Singapore’s official COVID-19 regulations, which states that only a maximum of 5 guests can enter into one household at any given time.
(Image: jeffrey_xu on Instagram)
Rita Ora breached COVID-19 rules not once, but twice.
Returning from a private gig in Egypt, Rita Ora was supposed to quarantine for two weeks upon her return to London. Instead, BBC reports that the singer hosted a 30-person gathering in Casa Cruz in Notting Hill immediately upon her arrival. Celebrities Cara and Poppy Delevingne, and Vas Morgan were said to be in attendance.
According to UK authorities, up to 10 can gather indoors inside food and drink establishments.
The manager in charge of allowing the 30-person gathering in Casa Cruz has since been fired. Despite calling it a “spur of the moment” decision to host the gathering, Sky News reported that local authorities labelled Rita Ora’s decisions as a blatant and intentional breach of lockdown rules -- the singer reportedly also told restaurant staff to turn off CCTV cameras to prevent footage of the event from being leaked to the public.
Just like her sibling Kendall and Kim, Kylie flouted COVID-19 rules by jetting off to Paris in the midst of the pandemic.
As reported by the Washington Post, Kylie Jenner was an American who was not supposed to be in Paris due to France (like the rest of Europe) being closed off to international travellers.
South China Morning Post reported that In the midst of the pandemic, Malaysian actress Farah Nabilah posted a snapshot of her holidaying with her newly wedded husband Amirul Yunus at a resort in the Maldives.
(Image: Sha's Media)
The post drew ire from netizens for the couple’s retreat into the resort island and many have called the couple “insensitive” for being able to indulge in travel in a climate where many are dying and unable to afford such a luxury due to global travel restrictions.
(Image: farahnabilahofficial on Instagram)
The YouTube makeup influencer was pictured attending a party hosted at the Hype House along with other influencers such as Tana Mongeau, and Nikita Dragun. From Insider, the influencer was seen without a mask along with 67 other influencers in the Los Angeles residence.
James Charles and his fellow influencer attendees have been called out by fellow YouTuber influencer Tyler Oakley for attending the party without following state pandemic guidelines and for promoting irresponsible behaviour during the pandemic.
(Image: jamescharles on Instagram)
Celebrating his daughter Reginae Carter’s birthday during thanksgiving in a club without a mask in sight is Rapper Lil Wayne. The party was hosted in an Atlanta nightclub, with prominent rappers such as Juvenile and 2Chainz in attendance.
From CNN, the party violated the state of Atlanta’s mask mandate and gathering rules.
From Insider, YouTube Makeup influencer Jeffree Star was accused of not following social distancing guidelines and for continuing to host and meet up with other influencers for collaborations during the pandemic.
It is a norm for influencers to collaborate with other influencers on their YouTube channels, but this move has been heavily criticized during the pandemic for putting people at risk for the sake of profiteering for views.
To promote the release of her new book ‘Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass’, singer Lana Del Rey hosted a surprise book signing event at a Los Angeles Barnes and Noble. Despite being seen wearing a mask to the event and for seemingly complying with COVID-19 regulations, the singer was reported by BBC news to be wearing a mesh mask that had no barrier she had previously work for an interview shoot.
The mask she wore only served an aesthetic purpose, unlike medical-grade masks or cloth masks that prevent the spread of COVID-19 by trapping droplets within the mask. Lana Del Rey has since been criticized for not properly complying with mask guidelines and for putting fans who turned up for the book signing at risk.
The Malaysian actress and singer posted a social media update showing her travelling in Victoria, Australia during the pandemic. Although lockdown had not been officially instated in Malaysia, her post enraged many netizens who have called for her to not come back, according to the South China Morning Post.
(Image: liyanajasmay on Instagram)
In an attempt to protect her public image, Liyana Jasmay announced that she would be cutting her trip short, and assured netizens that she will follow through with Malaysian government guidelines for the lockdown. She also privated her Instagram profile in response to the backlash. As of today, her profile is public again.
(Image: liyanajasmay on Instagram)
Another celebrity on the list for flouting covid lockdown guidelines to celebrate their birthday is Cardi B. Ignoring lockdown rules, the rapper held her 28th birthday party in Las Vegas with reportedly over 100 people in attendance. Guests were seen unmasked and partying on social media.
Ironic that Cardi B is also known for being one of the most vocal celebrities against the spread of coronavirus in an Instagram rant on the pandemic, months before the infamous party, in March 2020. The rant has been sampled and remixed into a song.
To celebrate her 25th birthday, YouTube makeup influencer Nikita Dragun hosted a party in Los Angeles, with many other Los Angeles-based influencers from TikTok and YouTube in attendance. House parties are prohibited in Los Angeles as part of the state’s pandemic measures.
In response to online criticism, Nikita Dragun added that all her guests have been tested for the virus before attending the party and assured netizens that the necessary precautions have been taken on her social media. However, the move was not received favourably, with many criticizing the influencer for the flagrant use of test kits for a non-essential event when many others are not able to access or even afford covid testing.
(Image: nikitadragun on Instagram)