As of today, the CDC reports that there have been 13,447,627 cases of COVID-19 in the United States alone. Cases are surging again and after Sunday was the busiest day for air travel since before the pandemic as people ignored recommendations to stay put for the Thanksgiving holiday, you can bet we will see yet another surge soon.
That, however, hasn’t stopped people from openly flouting precautions and rules put in place outside of the holidays. You’ve likely seen people you know in everyday life have that Friendsgiving celebration with more than 10 people. Maybe you’ve watched someone have a birthday party, standing among a group of mask-less guests. But nothing can be more exhausting than watching celebrities with influence and millions of followers pretend they care about the pandemic one minute and then take part in very unsafe gatherings the next. A few have issued apologies as of late for appearing to be careless, others have accepted fines, but all have been given a deserved side-eye for encouraging large groups to come together as an unpredictable virus rages in the U.S. Check out the stars who’ve participated in functions that caused quite the uproar, and rightfully so.
Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B seemingly bragged about having “12 kids and 25 adults” in her home in Atlanta for a “lit” Thanksgiving celebration. However, fans quickly called her out for ignoring the recommendations by health experts to only spend the holidays with immediate family. She apologized and explained that her loved ones were tested before coming to her home.
“Sorry my bad wasn’t trying to make nobody feel bad.I just had my family in my home for the first time and it felt so good & uplifted me,” she wrote on Twitter. “I spent soo much money getting every1 tested but it felt worth it.I wasnt trying to offend no1.”
When someone said that it was good that she got tested beforehand, the star replied, “ME specially and everyone that works round me get tested literally four times a week. I’m in the middle of work and every time we clock in we MUST GET TESTED!”
Singer Rita Ora also issued a public apology, and reportedly offered to pay a fine of close to $12,000 after throwing a 30th birthday party that went against social distancing rules in place in the UK.
“I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK. I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk. This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgment. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility,” she wrote in her Instagram Stories recently.
“I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe. Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.”
TV personality and actress Reginae Carter (and yes, Lil Wayne and Toya Johnson’s daughter) turned 22 over the weekend. Despite the pandemic, that didn’t stop boyfriend YFN Lucci from throwing her a massive bash in Atlanta. There were a few hundred people present, all very close during the party, including some celebrities like Kandi Burruss and rapper 2 Chainz. And while young fans for the most part just commented on Carter’s page to say the party looked like fun, more mature folk took to the page of guests like Burruss to ask them what they were thinking attending the packed party.
Cynthia Bailey and husband Mike Hill were determined to keep their October 10, 2020 wedding date, pandemic be damned. She spoke about all the precautions they were planning to take in order to have a safe wedding with around 200 guests at a huge venue in Acworth, Georgia.
“Weddings are stressful. For me, the most stress for Mike and I is making sure we are not only following the COVID-19 rules and regulations, but also putting people in place to enforce them,” she said days before the nuptials. “We’re having a large wedding. To be honest, everything that we’re doing for our wedding 10/10/20, we would be doing if we had 50 people there. We would still be doing temperature checks, still be enforcing masks and face shields because at the end of the day, you can get COVID at any time regardless of the amount of people that you’re around.”
Despite her best efforts, there was a high-profile guest in Gizelle Bryant who claimed she left the wedding early because guests weren’t keeping their masks on after dinner.
Rapper Mulatto hasn’t stopped performing and showing up at clubs for packed crowds in Atlanta, and she had a very well attended album release party in August. When taken to task on social media by people questioning her for such gatherings, she defiantly talked about the necessity of working.
“I’m 21 & I take care of my whole family,” she said on Twitter. “We sending money to 5 different states. F–k yeah I’m still collecting mines.”
“Y’all must gone pay me & mines bills??? Lol f–k off for real,” she added. “I promise I’m not the ‘celebrity’ to get bullied out my statements. I said what I said. Sorry but I gotta eat & feed others too…Me & mine gone eat, pandemic or not. F–k u & anybody else who don’t pay our bills #respectfully.”
The rap duo just performed in Florida to a full house, which is not necessarily against regulations in the state. Bars are still allowed to operate and do so at full capacity down there (because…Florida *shrugs*). In a statement to TMZ on the matter, the owners of the Gilt Nightclub where the group performed said that after being closed for six months, they are taking precautions, including doing temperature checks at the door of their venue, giving out masks if anybody wants them and having sanitizing stations. As they told the site, “at this point we are just trying to keep our 125 employees employed and help out music industry in any way we can.”
Jeezy and Gucci Mane
After their epic Verzuz last month, where the two put to bed all past issues, Jeezy and Gucci Mane had their fans come together for a celebration at Compound in Atlanta. However, the space was packed to the brim with people during a virus surge. Not to mention, Gucci’s wife, Keyshia K’aoir is pregnant with the couple’s first child, so her immune system could easily be compromised if he would have brought that home to her. Neither man posted the after-party to their actual pages so they likely knew it wasn’t a good look right now. However, that didn’t keep them from inviting their fans to come out at the end of the Verzuz battle (which also had a few too many maskless people in the room). Kudos to Jeezy, though, he at least tried to wear a mask to the party…
The model was one of the first people to really get criticized by the public for holding a party during the pandemic. She had a Halloween celebration in Hollywood with around 100 guests for her birthday. They reportedly all had to do rapid testing before entering, but social distancing still wasn’t happening during the party. In addition, the fact that there was a note to not put the party on social media is a sign that folks knew they weren’t setting the best example.
Her mother, Kris Jenner, spoke out about the backlash afterward.
“We’re dealing with lots of people that have different opinions, and all we can do is live our lives the best way we know how and be responsible and do the right thing.”
The right thing also includes Kim Kardashian gathering a number of her friends to party on a private island while the rest of us are stuck in place…
Another Atlanta party, chile. Rapper 21 Savage had his 28th birthday party at District Atlanta in October. For the party, it was a ’70s theme, and he invited a great number of his famous rapper friends to celebrate with him. Everyone came decked out in their finest play on disco-era threads, from T.I. and Tiny, to Meek Mill. One thing that was missing from all of these chic ensembles though was a mask, shield or anything of the like from guests. Perhaps people in Atlanta are ducking and dodging the virus and know some tricks that we don’t.
Sike! Since the state as a whole has had 454,000 cases, they don’t.
Back in May, early in lockdown times, or at least when people should have been locked down, Tiny threw a Cinco de Mayo party that caught some backlash. Gatherings of more than 10 people were frowned upon around that time.
“Last night I had a small CincoDeMayo get together at the house & well I had @mydjdre play @zonniquejailee new singles as u can see everybody loved it!! lilduval & the Dj was really feeling it!! We had to bring it bck & bck lol We 🔥 Pooh” she said while sharing the news of the soiree.
People responded not in kind about it, and she said the party wasn’t a big one at all. When someone said that no one was socially distancing, she said, “yes we are at least 8 of these ppl I’m around on a regular..so….”