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Celebritology 2.0 Archive: Highbrow

Opinion Roundup: Where Do Celebs Come Down on Polanski?

Much has been written about Roman Polanski this week. For anyone who has been living under a rock for the past few days, here's the case in a nutshell: Polanski was taken into custody in Switzerland earlier this week and could face extradition to the U.S. in connection with his 1978 conviction after admitting to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. His victim now says she believes Polanski is "sorry" for his actions and is not in support of further punishment. Although Polanski's case has long galvanized those who believe he should face the consequences for his actions and those who think the director should be dealt with leniently, if at all, the debate got especially heated this week. Below, a sampling of opinion pieces from both sides: A growing number of celebrities -- including Woody Allen, Martin Scorcese, Sam Mendes, Diane von Furstenberg and Tilda Swinton -- have...

By Liz Kelly  | October 2, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Highbrow  
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Susan Boyle -- From Obscurity to Stardom to Unlikely Lightning Rod

Susan Boyle on 'Britain's Got Talent.' (Courtesy of TALKBACK THAMES/SYCO TV) A survey of the flurry of opinion-making spawned by the "Britain's Got Talent" contestant and Internet sensation. According to Britain's Daily Mail, the clip of Susan Boyle's "Britain's Got Talent" performance is poised to become the most-viewed YouTube clip ever. As of this writing, the various versions posted to the site have been viewed approximately 100 million times. (The reigning most viewed clip? Comedian Judson Laipply's "Evolution Of Dance.") But now that the initial novelty of Boyle's out-of-nowhere Cinderella story is getting old, reactions to Boyle -- and the context in which her performance was presented -- are mixed. Asking why we're so surprised that someone "ugly" could have a beautiful voice, the Guardian's Tanya Gold writes: Is Susan Boyle ugly? Or are we? On Saturday night she stood on the stage in Britain's Got Talent; small and...

By Liz Kelly  | April 21, 2009; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  Highbrow  
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Highbrow: Parsing Roseanne's Anti-Brangelina Stance

Brangelina basher Roseanne Barr in 2003. (AP) I'm not sure what's more annoying: Roseanne Barr's initial acid volley at Brangelina for apparently being undecided voters, her subsequent back-pedal or her nasal whine. One thing's for certain, though: Barr's latest statements have inspired a veritable crit-storm of commentary across the Web. For the benefit of anyone out there who might have missed why it is we're talking about Barr, a woman who hasn't been relevant since Bill Clinton was president and Billy Crystal was still hosting the Oscars, the former sitcom staple leaped back into the pop culture landscape this week when she accused Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of being no more than poseurs when it comes to their reputation as humanitarians: "Angelina Jolie and her vacuous hubby Brad Pitt make about $40 million a year in violent, psychopathic movies and give away three of it to starving children,...

By Liz Kelly  | August 20, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (198)
Categories:  Celebrities, Highbrow  
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Highbrow: Monitoring the Paris-Britney Ad Fallout

After Monday's discussion, I didn't think I'd be talking politics again so soon, but Paris forced my hand. By now we're all familiar with the ad: in an attempt to diminish opponent Barack Obama, John McCain compared him to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. And despite the fact that it may not make the best Friday List inspiration, there has been some meaty opinion-making over the past week -- weighing the ad's effects on the presidential race and the bleeding of celebrity into the campaign. As expected, the comparison drew outrage from Paris's mom, Kathy Hilton, who called the ad "frivolous" and a "waste of time and money." (And quite possibly her money, since it turns out Hilton had contributed funds to the McCain campaign in the past). Slate's Christopher Beam even asked if Paris could sue the McCain campaign. Probably not, since "political speech is so highly protected...

By Liz Kelly  | August 7, 2008; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (190)
Categories:  Britney Spears, Highbrow, Paris Hilton  
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Beyonce's Bootylicious Kid Ads: Over the Line?

(Image via Yep, we know Beyonce Knowles is bootylicious, but suddenly the pop diva turned designer is at the receiving end of a torrent of criticism for marketing that image to the second-grade set. The latest from Beyonce's House of Dereon -- the fashion label she runs with mom Tina -- is "Dereon Girls." And while the clothes themselves may be innocuous enough (if trite and trendy), it is the advertisements featuring seven-year-olds in full makeup and high heels that has critics lining up to charge Beyonce with contributing to the delinquency of minors. Though the ads debuted last fall, they've been the target of a resurgent flurry of comments in the blogosphere: Asks (NSFW) blog PopGumbo: "What is the next ad going to look like? Babies wearing gold metallic bikinis while five-year old boys throw Monopoly money on them." Conservative critic Michelle Malkin, invoking JonBenet Ramsey's image...

By Liz Kelly  | May 14, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (116)
Categories:  Celebrities, Highbrow, Miscellaneous  
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Highbrow: The Dumbing Down of Barbara Walters

There was a time when Barbara Walters was considered a gold standard example of a female journalist -- a woman who had made her way to the top of a male-dominated field in an era when women in TV news were more likely to be weather "girls." She was the flesh-and-blood, boots to the ground version of Mary Tyler Moore's struggling, unsinkable Girl Friday makes good. She interviewed Castro, she co-anchored the evening news and she developed a reputation for scoring interviews with tough nuts to crack -- Saddam Hussein, Hillary Clinton (mid Starr Report release), Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin together. Now, not so much. She's a celebrity interviewer -- a white Oprah, a female Larry King, a Barbara Walters. Barbara Walters arrives at a New York bookstore to sign copies of her new book, 'Audition.' (Helayne Seidman for The Washington Post) Walters was already teetering close to...

By Liz Kelly  | May 8, 2008; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Highbrow  
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Older Entries in This Category »

Highbrow: Lindsay Lohan's Bombshell Bid, Liz Kelly , February 21, 2008
Highbrow: Tom Cruise's Straight-to-Video Hit, Liz Kelly , January 22, 2008
High Brow: Sarah Silverman -- Funny Girl?, Liz Kelly , October 10, 2007
Highbrow: The Beehive Buzzes Again, Liz Kelly , October 3, 2007
Highbrow: O.J. Revisited Edition, Liz Kelly , September 18, 2007
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