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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Influencers’ ignorant PR stunts are going too far

Charli+D%E2%80%99Amelio%2C+and+Dixie+D%E2%80%99Amelio%2C+shown.
Photo by: Tyler Golden/Courtesy of Hulu
Charli D’Amelio, and Dixie D’Amelio, shown.

Celebrities and influencers are working minimum wage jobs as a public relations stunt, but it’s not doing them any favors.

Over the past few years, we have seen celebrities work minimum-wage jobs for PR before. Most recently, Lana Del Rey worked at Waffle House, Ed Sheeran worked at a hot dog restaurant, Ariana Grande worked at Starbucks and Ben Affleck at a Dunkin’. 

Most of the time these stunts are used to promote a product the celebrity has in collaboration with the company, but even that logic does not settle that weird feeling I get when I see celebrities in these working-class positions. 

Celebrities pretending to work these jobs reminds working-class citizens how far they are from celebrities’ vibrant success and makes them wish they could pretend to be a working-class citizen for just one day.

Most recently, TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio have fallen victim to this tone-deaf PR stunt. 

In a promotion for the D’Amelio’s new popcorn brand “Be Happy,” Dixie and Charli went to a Walmart and got into uniform pretending to be working and posing as cashiers.

For the D’Amelio’s, this is just one day out of their lives where they get to have fun, play pretend cashier and take photos with fans, while for many people, this is their daily lives. 

Disregarding the fact that these environments, like working retail, are harsh, tiring and do not pay well most of the time, celebrities are profiting off the image of being part of the working class without having to do any of the work that comes with it. 

It is safe to say that the D’Amelio sisters likely made 10 times the amount of money from this deal than a Walmart employee makes per week.

Famous people pretending to be a working class citizen for a day come across incredibly tone-deaf and proves how privileged they are that they will never have to work any of these jobs because they are financially set for life.

The D’Amelio sisters presumably have never had to work a minimum wage job due to their early success, so it’s almost patronizing seeing them pretend like they have any idea what it’s like to be a minimum wage worker. 

Stunts like this leaves many to wonder why celebrities are obsessed with cosplaying as working class citizens. 

Is it because they want to have a sense of relatability with their fans? Do they think working in retail is fun? Do they just want to be a normal person for a day?

In the privileged world of influencers, all of that logic makes sense. However, working-class citizens are drowning in inflation and student loans, and are trying to make money to keep themselves above water, while millionaire influencers are playing minimum-wage dress-up. 

Millionaires pretending to work a minimum wage job for PR is arguably one of the worst PR stunts created.

Not only is it making working-class citizens feel bad because their livelihood is being mocked, but whenever these stunts are executed, the celebrities just get backlash. 

The phrase “no such thing as bad press” does not apply to this situation. Their names are being spread on major social platforms and they are being talked about, but their names and reputations are being dragged down with it.

The D’Amelio’s are facing a good amount of backlash on social media, but their careers will certainly not be completely affected by this stunt. However, this tasteless antic will not be forgotten and is certainly something I will remember when their names come up. 

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Casey Wells
Casey Wells, Staff Writer | she/her
Casey is a junior broadcast journalism major from Worcester, Massachusetts. When she isn't in the Journal office, you can find her in the Performing Arts Office or any place near campus that has coffee. In addition to the Journal, she is a dancer and on the e-board of Suffolk's dance crew, Wicked. In her free time, she loves to read, write, dance, listen to Hozier and play guitar.
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