“Jennifer Aniston’s comments on fame prove how the concept of the celebrity has changed – and I’m here for it”

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Leah Sinclair
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The actor has faced criticism for her comments about people who are famous on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram while ignoring just how impactful social media has been in providing opportunities to those from different backgrounds.

The concept of the celebrity has evolved drastically over the years.

From glorifying movie stars to TikTok creators, the landscape of fame and what it means to be a celebrity is constantly changing, particularly due to social media – and Jennifer Aniston’s recent comments discussing this have become the subject of much criticism. 

The actor appeared on Variety’s Actors on Actors alongside Sebastian Stan, where she talked about the realities of fame today.

In the interview, Aniston spoke about Stan’s recent role as Tommy Lee in the Hulu series Pam & Tommy, where she discussed why the couple’s sex tape leak was so huge at the time due to the emergence of internet culture.

“Right at the time the internet really shaped a new culture about people becoming famous,” she told Variety. “This thing of people becoming famous for basically doing nothing. I mean – Paris Hilton, Monica Lewinsky, all those.”

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She added: “I feel so lucky that we got a little taste of the industry before it became what it is today… More streaming services — you’re famous from TikTok, you’re famous from YouTube, you’re famous from Instagram.”

“It’s almost, like, it’s diluting the actor’s job.”

Aniston’s comments have come under criticism with some deeming the actor “out of touch” due to her own parents being the actors Nancy Dow and John Aniston.

Jennifer Aniston (nepotism baby) wants to talk about diluting the actor’s job. Right,” commented one Twitter user, while another said: “Most of Hollywood literally be [filled with] nepotism babies or got where they are because their family is rich.”

Jennifer Aniston’s parents were both millionaire actors embedded in the film industry,” wrote another. “Their connections allowed for Aniston to have the career that she has. Not trying to minimise what she did in her career but I actually think some of this move away from industry elite is good.”

Meanwhile, some agreed with Aniston’s stance, arguing that she was speaking to social media stars who get into acting because of their following, without taking it seriously as a craft.

“People are bringing up Jennifer Aniston being a nepo kid. OK, her statement is clearly alluding to social media influencers getting parts that could go to those who are serious about acting,” wrote one user.

“Jennifer Aniston is 100% correct,” another commented. “There’s almost zero originality in today’s creative industries because everybody’s in a social media rat race to become the next star. This definitely dilutes creative content. but I digress.”

While many may debate Aniston’s stance, there’s no denying that social media has provided opportunities to those who don’t have immediate access, resources or connections to the industry in the same way Aniston may have had.

Everything has its downsides – and social media isn’t short of that. But the diverse range of people who benefit from social media and are able to forge new relationships, followings and opportunities as a result of it has changed the landscape for the better. It has diversified the entertainment industry and continues to do so in a much-needed way – and there are some amazing creatives who have come from it.

Without YouTube, we wouldn’t have Issa Rae or Justin Bieber. Without Twitter, we wouldn’t have the infamous Twitter thread that spawned the Zola movie. Without Soundcloud, we wouldn’t have a whole generation of music artists who span genres and defined an era, from Halsey to Chance the Rapper.

Social media has opened the doors to the entertainment industry allowing those from a variety of backgrounds to make a name for themselves in a historically elitist industry – and it’s the reason why Aniston’s comment comes across as out of touch.

While exclusivity may still be the name of the game in Aniston’s world, social media has opened up the floodgates for everyone to potentially get a piece of the pie – and I, for one, am here for it.

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Leah Sinclair

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