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the new interview

What's up with celebs trying to gatekeep the media all of a sudden?

More than ever, they’re attempting to set the agenda.

THERE’S A BIZARRE trend emerging in Celebland where famous people have other famous people interview them.

Let’s take a look at some recent offenders.

The Kardashian-Jenners regularly talk among themselves in the press …

Most recently, Emma Stone sat down with Jennifer Lawrence to discuss “turning 30, her new project and family” for Elle Magazine.

(It’s important to note that this was at the specific request of Emma.)

A considered move by both – at the time, speculation was mounting around whether Kylie Jenner was pregnant or not. Any interviewer beyond her family circle would have immediately honed in on the rumours. Kylie was a month away from giving birth, and had already made the decision to not have her pregnancy play out in the public eye – a decision which can be nothing but respected.

With Stone, the motivation is a little less clear. There was less potential for “difficult” or “tricky” questions posed by an actual journalist to crop up – she’s done well to sidestep a lot of Hollywood drama (beyond accusations of white-washing in 2015 concerning a movie in which she starred in.)

More than ever, celebs are attempting to exercise control over their narratives by limiting media access, which in one respect is fine. Everyone has a basic right to some level of privacy, even if – shock horror – you are in the public eye.

But the argument there is pretty simple – don’t do the interview if you don’t want to. Don’t pawn it off on your celeb bezzie for some fluffy, twee exchange, doing a journalist out of a job.

It’s happening on a smaller scale too. Earlier this week, Selena Gomez lost the rag at Elle magazine over an interview she did with them because it didn’t focus on her charity work (and her fashion collection with Coach) enough.

In a lengthy Instagram post, the singer said:

Alright. Speaking from my heart for over an hour to someone who puts those thoughts into paid words can be hard for me. The older I get the more I want my voice to be mine. This is all apart of my work within an industry that’s been around longer than all of us have been. The purpose of my interview was three fold. My work with A21, my new collection with Coach, and some new music. 
Church is a name for something far more personal. There’s always agenda seeking information on such a subject and I understand why. Rarely do I mention church (and I didn’t) but I’ll always feel comfortable talking about my values and beliefs. I respect that from everyone and anyone.
I understand that reporters are working to grab the attention of a reader, however I will always work to ensure that what is public represents my truth.I’m a bit bummed but rarely surprised. “

Granted, she had some other issues – the interview featured unreleased lyrics from her upcoming album which she wasn’t happy about.

With regards to the interview itself though? It’s a fair interview. Her work with charity A21 is mentioned, as is her friendship with Demi Lovato and her strong Christian faith. Other outlets chose to focus on specific aspects of the interview, obviously. But interviews aren’t supposed to act solely as press releases – they’re opportunities to hold people accountable too (as interviewer Mickey Rapkin did, by attempting to bring up her decision to work with director Woody Allen.)

Unsurprisingly, Kanye West attempted to pull a similar stunt this week at New York Fashion Week. 

Fashion Ralph Lauren Diane Bondareff Diane Bondareff

At the Ralph Lauren 50th anniversary show, a reporter allegedly asked Kanye about his wife Kim Kardashian’s feud with model Tyson Beckford.

Granted, you could debate just how relevant that line of questioning was, and consider it a naive move given Kanye’s tetchy nature. But Kanye’s response was nothing short of ridiculous, demanding that the reporter be thrown out or he would leave.

“She needs to be kicked out right now or I’m leaving. Right now,” he told who seems like one of the event organizers. “We’ll take care of it,” she replies. He proceeded to tell her to follow him to offender. 

“Ralph Lauren would be very ashamed that you asked that trash question,” he said. The journalist apologised, but West still demanded that she leave the red carpet. “You have to go,” he said.

Once again, Kanye was under no obligation to answer or acknowledge this person’s question. But journalists and reporters have a responsibility to make those in authority uncomfortable; to ask the awkward questions we all want answered. It’s holding people responsible for their actions, in the exact same way we would with our friends and family. No one should be threatened with expulsion for meeting the basic requirements of their job, because someone didn’t like what you asked. 

It’s not about bullying celebrities – it’s about getting to the crux of the issue and addressing it, or getting a deeper insight in to someone admired by many. It’s not about trying to catch people out – it’s base level curiosity. People just want to know more. 

Of course, there is a time and a place for less serious discussions about their favourite colour, their pets’ names and the time they such-and-such with such-and-such at some Oscar party and how HILARIOUS it was. 

For everything else though? Leave it to the professionals. 

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