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Taylor Swift is The Newest Celebrity Private Jet Controversy on The Viral List


TL;DR

  • Taylor Swift has been called out for having the highest emissions of all celebrity private jet owners, just weeks after Kylie Jenner’s same controversy
  • ‘Bama rush TikTok gives a glimpse into the startlingly uniform world of America’s Southern sororities 
  • First kill being canceled on Netflix represents a bigger loss for LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media
  • A croc skin handbag in a London zoo enclosure shows the devastating effects of hunting—and how close these animals are to being extinct

Taylor Swift follows Kylie’s jet controversy, but Twitter replied with more memes than hate

Just two weeks ago the internet was calling Kylie Jenner a “full time climate criminal” after seeing her wasteful private jet habits. However, thanks to data from @CelebJets, it came to light that Jenner doesn’t even make the top 10 of celebs with the highest private jet emissions. The shocking first place culprit is Taylor Swift, whose jet use is responsible for an estimated 8,000 tonnes of carbon emissions this year alone. 

Twitter users, who had no issue going after Jenner, were seemingly less harsh on the pop star, though. The flood of responses were fueled more by disappointment than anything else, and were not without a wave of memes. On both TikTok and Twitter, users posted videos speculating the absurdity of Swift using a jet for menial journeys (like going to the kitchen or getting a late-night snack). 

In response to the public shaming, Swift’s team claimed the emissions do not solely fall on her, as her jet is “loaned out regularly to other individuals.” Fans and critics alike mocked this defense, saying Swift must take responsibility even for trips she is not on. YPulse data shows the best thing Gen Z and Millennials think a celeb can do when being called out is to acknowledge the controversy and take responsibility. At the end of the day, young people see the issue as owning the jet in the first place, as it inherently causes avoidable environmental damage. 

Also in celeb controversies: Beyonce was pushed to edit a lyric involving an ableist slur, apparently not learning from Lizzo, who did the same thing just a month ago. 

‘Bama Rush is back—and everyone’s rushing to TikTok to witness the world of America’s southern sororities

Last year, YPulse told you why millions of people were tuning in to the University of Alabama’s sorority rush videos. PNMs (potential new members, just in case you forgot) were sharing their OOTD’s every day, naming each garment and accessory, and giving viewers the juicy run-down on who moved to the next round of rush and who got cut. This year, fresh new faces are flooding TikTok’s feeds, excited to journey through the whirlwind of friendship building, fast fashion, and becoming famous (for a few weeks). 

This year, fans of the events can tune in from Aug. 6-14 for the Primary Recruitment schedule. Members have already begun their peppy (almost scary) chants and are posting their dance routines on TikTok as a pre-game for what’s about to ensue. #BamaRush2022 already has 10.7 million views, and features an array of themes that go beyond everyone simply wearing pink or jeans. Some of the top event themes so far showcase “breakfast at the whitehouse,” “sweet home delta dome,” and “Mu are my slushie” (for Phi Mu, duh). 

Many viewers are tuning in purely to gawk at the cultural bubble ‘Bama Rush exists in. Overwhelmingly, people are struck by the girls’ uniformity, with Shein mini skirts, heeled sandals, and blonde hair (except for the occasional brunette, which seems to count as diversity to them). The sameness can be surprising, but in reality, sororities weren’t officially desegregated until 2013. The university’s newspaper exposed that only 1.2% of the Alabama Panhellenic Association identified as Black in 2020. YPulse’s representation in action trend research shows 83% of Gen Z and Millennials agree diversity and inclusion is an important social cause to them. So, the ‘Bama Rush brings about conversations of racism, misogyny, and classism that are apparent in their content, especially given all the PNMs are now Gen Z. 

Queer vampire drama First Kill didn’t get renewed, despite huge viewership

Gen Z loved First Kill on Netflix so much that within its first week, the show ranked just behind cult favorites Stranger Things and Peaky Blinders, with a reported 48.8M hours of views. And yet, the show has still been canceled after only one season. Diehard fans are outraged, for a number of reasons, but chief among them is the fact that the show is among just a few that feature LGBTQ+ women or girls as main characters, and beyond that, shows a Black, lesbian lead. 

YPulse data shows that Gen Z are more likely than Millennials to identify as LGBTQ+, and seeing representation for that matters to them. And, 38% of Gen Z tell YPulse they think brands should be involved in issues of LGBTQ discrimination / rights. First Kill is one in a line of shows and movies with queer female characters that has been cancelled while other projects with lower ratings are renewed. 

There’s a myriad of reasons the show could have been cut after only one season, but many fans took the announcement to heart. Even though other LGBTQ+ led shows, like Heartstopper, have been renewed, cutting First Kill so soon sparks resentment for a specific lack of representation in the media. In the eyes of Gen Z, it is no longer enough for production companies to profit from queer-coded side characters (ahem, Will Byers) without giving a dedicated spotlight to more underrepresnted demographics like queer women of color. 

Also on streaming services: Warner Bros. is making big changes at HBOMax (which they are soon to merge with Discovery Plus) by clearing house on several original titles, and pulling the plug on two nearly done films including the highly-anticipated Batgirl

A croc skin handbag is the newest animal in a London zoo enclosure

The London Zoo has made the move of placing a Birkin Crocodile skin handbag within an enclosure instead of the animal itself to bring awareness to a dying species of Siamese Crocodile, as 80% disappear from the wild. A photo taken from a visitor has gone viral, raising awareness of illegal poaching as well as the cruel reality of where the likes of designer handbags come from. The photo has since got 398K likes (and counting) since @sleepy_homo shared their surprise at the item, which, of course, has caused controversy online

While many are speaking out in support of the London Zoo’s activism (and drawing similarities to the Banksy fur coat piece at the Bristol museum), others were confused about why they were trying to save crocodiles as they offered “nothing to the environment.” Others still were in awe of a Birkin being on display, joking about taking the hard-to-get designer bag. While young consumers redefine what luxury means to them, they’re still eager to have a luxury label in their wardrobe. But, will hard-hitting activism draw on the heartstrings of young people and change the way they see luxury brands? Young consumers are generations of online activists, and 44% of Gen Z and Millennials say they believe posting on social media about a cause is the best way for brands to show support, so the viral tweet could effect change.

Links we’re passing

Music: TikTok’s parent company filed a patent for a music streaming app, “TikTok Music” 

Movies: Hulu’s new social media satire Not Okay gives watchers a content warning for an “unlikeable female protagonist”

Lady Gaga will star in the Joker sequel, and it’s going to be a musical

Social media: Cracker Barrel is offering vegan Impossible meat, and their Facebook followers are not happy

Twitter meme-ified a guy who unironically tweeted what he thinks you should have by 30

Politics: With the on-going energy crisis within Europe, Spain orders public places to set aircon no lower than 27 degrees celsius.

TV: Love Island 2022 has come to an end with Ekin-Su and Davide winning by a landslide.