Blockout 2024: Rising backlash against celebrity silence on Gaza war


Published: 2024-05-12 20:35

Last Updated: 2024-06-16 17:08

Editor: Mohammad Alakaileh

Contrasting realities: From devastation to glamor
Contrasting realities: From devastation to glamor

In the 2024 Met Gala, a significant digital rebellion took shape—the Blockout 2024 movement. This online initiative has rallied global netizens to block celebrities who neglect to leverage their extensive reach to confront and mitigate worldwide humanitarian crises, especially the horrific war crimes committed in Gaza by the Israeli Occupation.

The catalyst for this outcry was Haley Kalil (known as haleyybaylee), a social media influencer, who at a pre-Met Gala event, lip-synced the notorious line "Let them eat cake" while adorned in an opulent dress.

Her act, widely viewed as out of touch with the stark socio-economic realities of today, has reignited discussions on the wealth gap and the aloofness of celebrity culture.

As the genocidal war on Gaza intensifies—marked by heavy civilian casualties and acute disruptions like food shortages—the contrast between the Met Gala's lavish display and the severe conditions faced by many could not have been starker.

The public's disillusionment has been compounded by what many perceive as a gross indifference to suffering, prompting calls for more accountable and empathetic conduct from public figures.

Fueled by platforms like TikTok, the Blockout 2024 campaign is swiftly gathering momentum, propelling a mass exodus of followers from celebrity accounts. The hashtags #letthemeatcake, #celebrityblocklist, and #blockout have become symbols of this burgeoning movement.

The celebrity blocklist includes names such as Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Kylie Jenner, Zendaya, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Khloe Kardashian, Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Demi Lovato, Lizzo, Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Zac Efron, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Justin Timberlake, and many others.

While the Met Gala purports to support the arts, critics argue it also starkly highlights the divide between the wealthy and the needy. This is juxtaposed against actions by some in Hollywood, such as those at the 2024 Oscars who wore red pins from the Artists4Ceasefire initiative, advocating for peace and humanitarian efforts in Gaza.

Blockout 2024 serves as a potent reminder of the influential role celebrities can play in societal discourse and policy making. The movement questions the depth of celebrity engagement and challenges them to harness their platforms for advocacy and change.

As the global community continues to grapple with these issues, the effectiveness of the Blockout 2024 movement in driving substantial change remains to be seen. Yet, it undeniably underscores a critical moment in public sentiment, where digital platforms are used to demand greater responsibility from those in the limelight.

The ongoing debate will determine if this virtual outcry can indeed reshape public figure engagements in times of genocidal war that is ongoing on the Gaza Strip.