Why Influencers Won’t Stop Partying Anytime Soon


In late July, dozens of social media stars flocked to the Hype House, a Hollywood Hills mansion the place a number of high TikTok creators stay, for a birthday celebration. The décor was glittery and pink, with balloons and silver streamers strewn about. Hello Kitty strobe lights pulsed over a crowded dance flooring.

The scene, as portrayed on social media, had an air of pre-pandemic normalcy. In a number of movies from the get together, nobody is sporting a masks.

Thomas Petrou, a founding father of the Hype House, advised The Hollywood Fix that between 60 and 70 visitors attended the get together, held on July 21 for one of many home’s residents, Larri Merritt, however a whole bunch extra crowded collectively exterior, hoping to get in. Those who made it previous the door had been a who’s who of the web: Emma Chamberlain, James Charles, Tana Mongeau, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, Nikita Dragun, the Sway boys.

Mr. Petrou, 21, stated that for creators, such occasions aren’t simply enjoyable — they’re work. “Our jobs are to entertain people,” he stated in a cellphone interview this week. “We live with groups of people, and we are all intertwined for work. We can’t put our entire lives on hold for a year and not make any money.”

Many creators have faced criticism for posting about these parties, let alone hosting them. After the YouTuber Tyler Oakley singled out the July 21 Hype House party on Twitter, Mr. Merritt issued a public apology for the birthday party held in his honor, admitting that it was a “dumb thing to do.” Ms. Mongeau and Mr. Charles also apologized for attending the event.

On Wednesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles announced that in response to the recent spate of parties, he would authorize the city to shut off power and water to any houses or businesses hosting large parties or unauthorized gatherings beginning on Friday night.

Malik Earnest, a 25-year-old creator in Los Angeles, has attended several influencer parties in recent months. “It’s like Covid isn’t a thing when we’re at them,” he said. He said he tries to stay responsible, but said that showing face at events has helped his career.

Mr. Earnest said that the apologies some hosts and attendees have issued are placating and not a sign that behavior is changing. “I see these tweets, I’ve seen influencers get called out and apologize, then I see them at a party the next weekend,” he said. “It’s just to save face. They say what they need to say on Twitter and Instagram then live their life.”

“These kids have been trying to be big on social media for such a long time,” said Mai Linh Nguyen, a producer who has worked for several top YouTube stars. “Now, they finally have it. They’re the ones to invite kids to the cool party, instead of trying to get the invite. Literally everyone on the internet, even if they don’t know who they are by name, is talking about them.”

Managers, agents and publicists have tried speaking to their young clients about the potential risks of their behavior, but few have been able to break through.

“It’s a level of accountability they have to have on themselves,” said Michael Gruen, a founder of TalentX, a management firm that represents many TikTokers. “It’s tough to tell 18-year-olds who live in L.A. away from their parents not to go out for two years.”

“Do I wish there wasn’t a party? Yeah. But if it’s there, he’s going to film it,” Mr. Gruen said, referring to one of his young clients. “I’d rather him go in, film it and leave, than go and party all night and not film it.”

Even when the cameras aren’t rolling, influencers say the parties are a necessary outlet in a time of extreme social isolation. The TikTok star Hootie Hurley, 21, said that while the parties in Los Angeles are most conspicuous, on a recent trip home to Arkansas and Oklahoma he saw many people out at bars and clubs, none of them practicing social distancing.

“A lot of people are depressed,” Mr. Hurley said. “You can’t raise somebody to be prepared to handle this. Every single person is living a completely different life than they did eight months ago and people handle changes and pressure differently. Some people crawl in a hole and isolate themselves, some people party.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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