[This is a personal rant delivered from high atop my soapbox.*]
I was pretty psyched to hear that Rob Pattinson was at La Poubelle on Saturday, because I hang out there sometimes too, and it always feels good to have your nightlife choices validated by celebrities who are much richer and more attractive than you. La Poubelle is right next to the UCB Theatre where I’m a performer, and sometimes my friends and I go there to get drinks and dinner after our shows. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was there with a bunch of my guy friends. We had to stand close together because the bar was packed, so sometimes our bodies touched. When I wanted to tell my friend Joe something, like about how delicious the sliders were, I had to lean in and put my face right next to his ear because it gets loud in there. I may have also touched his shoulder while doing this. Later that night, I drove a bunch of my friends home because we all live near each other, we like designated drivers and it makes us feel good to act like we’re helping the environment. Then I went and hung out with my husband, who I’ve been with since 2003.
But somehow, when poor Rob does the same exact thing, some fans, celebrity sites and tabloids take a meaningless, fun night out and turn it into the cheating scandal of the century. I’m all for enjoying the world of celebrity, but speculating about things so far as you are essentially writing fiction about another person’s life is not cool. At all. Neither is exaggerating the circumstances to the point where a friend is suddenly “his mystery woman!” or insinuating that Rob is cheating just to grab some page views.
You know what’s weirder than a guy having platonic girl friends? A guy with NO platonic girl friends. What are we, seven years old? It’s normal for people of different genders to hang out in a casual, public setting. The fact that mass hysteria has ensued following a photograph of a guy sitting next to a woman in a car makes us look seriously lame. Hanging out with other humans does not equate stepping out on one’s significant other. If it did we would all be the world’s biggest a-holes.
Additionally, Internet, this is why we can’t have nice things. You wonder why Rob and his girlfriend Kristen Stewart hide in their house reading highbrow literature and cooking Italian dinners? It’s because if they go out in public their actions are misconstrued and turned into tomorrow’s false front page story. They’re smart to keep their lips sealed about their relationship – had they ever once said anything about it, that quote would have been worked into every piece about Rob’s outing this weekend. (This same sort of thing has happened to Kristen in the past, when she hung out with pals/co-stars Garrett Hedlund and Tom Sturridge in London.)
If we’re gonna use celebs as our personal play toys we have to concede a couple of things: 1) Aside from their superhuman good looks, most of them really are just like us regular, boring folk. 2) It’s not fair to make stuff up about them and then assert it as the truth. 3) They deserve the benefit of the doubt, especially when conclusions about their personal lives are constantly made and misconstrued based on a photo or two.
Are we cool, then? Cool.
*I’m writing this post as someone who creates content for a celebrity site (this one!) and works in entertainment. I’ve done my fair share of guessing and speculating, but there is a fine line between wondering what’s going on and straight up accusing someone of something that is not true.