Outside the Met Gala, crowds of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered just mere blocks away, speaking out on the ongoing genocide in Gaza, while attendees of the Met Gala chose to ignore these protesters and continue on in their frivolous displays of wealth. The contrast between the Met Gala and the theme was apparent to many over social media. In the wake of the extreme violence at the hands of Israel in Gaza, many called the blatant displays of opulence and wealth by many celebrities, specifically regarding the Met Gala, tone-deaf.  

This year’s Met Gala theme, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” and “The Garden of Time,” was inspired by J.G. Ballard’s short story. The tale follows a crumbling dynasty as a count and countess are overrun by an angry mob and is essentially a mocking of the wealthy who live in luxury, clueless about the struggles of everyone else in the town surrounding them. In a blatant display of irony, the Met Gala was just that — a bunch of wealthy people parading around in extravagant designs and mingling with billionaires, acting blissfully unaware of the world surrounding them. 

Protesters flooded the streets and tore down the barricades surrounding the Gala, which coverage of the event largely ignored. However, many people noticed the dissonance in the coverage and were immediately reminded of the dystopia portrayed in the “Hunger Games.” The juxtaposition between extravagant outfits and images of starving children coming out of Gaza drew many to compare celebrities with citizens of the capitol and Palestinians with members of District 12. 

Many over social media are sick of this celebrity culture, resulting in a new online movement calling people to block celebrities who have ignored the genocide taking place in Gaza. The #Blockout2024 movement demonstrates how the masses are sick of seeing this depressing dichotomy between “the privileged few and the persecuted many.”  

This blockout movement was incited by an out-of-touch model and influencer, Haley Kalil’s TikTok to the sound “Let them eat cake” outside of the Met Gala. The phrase “let them eat cake” is commonly attributed to Marie Antoinette, who was confronted with starving peasants saying let them eat cake near the start of the French revolution. Despite there being no historical evidence that Antoinette ever said this phrase, anyone with a working brain can see the awful irony of this post. A wealthy celebrity, who has largely ignored issues affecting the general public, pranced around in an expensive outfit at an exclusive event, giving a big fat middle finger to the people who have given her the status she holds in society. 

One participant in this celebrity blocking movement stated, “When we hate on them, they make money. When we praise them, they make money. But when we block their social media accounts and completely forget their names, they lose it all.” The blockout forces celebrities into taking a stand on something more important than who designed their gown or be blocked — either call out the horrendous actions of Israel against Palestinians or lose the support of the masses who paid for their penthouse and provided them with their privilege. 

Since Oct. 7, over 35,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli military. With this in mind, many critics of American celebrity culture have called the elitist displays of opulence in wealth on the Met Gala carpet absolutely absurd. 

This blockout seems to be working, with many celebrities at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in France silently expressing solidarity with Palestinians through the form of fashion. Palestinian model, Bella Hadid, who has been very vocal about her support for Palestine, drew attention to her people’s struggle in a beautiful red dress designed using keffiyehs.  

Australian actor and film producer Cate Blanchett who attended the festival trended over social media because of her dress which made a reference to the Palestinian flag. Many other celebrities were spotted on the carpet wearing watermelon motifs, a symbol for Palestine and other sly references to Palestine. 

Despite these few shows of solidarity, many red carpets have been virtually devoid of support for the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Red carpets have historically been a place for celebrities and designers to make statements through fashion. From Alexandra Occasio-Cortez’s controversial “Tax the Rich” dress to Lena Waithe’s black suit with a rainbow cape, displaying solidarity with movements for LGBTQ+ communities, the Met Carpet has often been a place for celebrities to take a stand through art; this has many asking why displays of solidarity with Palestine were lacking on this year’s carpet. 

The Met Gala and red carpets alike are tone-deaf displays of wealth and opulence devoid of any real meaning and the people are finally sick of it. Fashion is inherently political, and for celebrities to ignore the power they hold to create meaningful social change is disappointing. 

Displays of solidarity with Palestine have been absent from almost every sphere of media, and outside of minimal motifs, many celebrities have largely ignored the violence ensuing in Gaza. Sitting comfortably on their buckets of money and attempting to avoid controversy, many previously outspoken celebrities on political issues across the spectrum have been silent on their pedestal of privilege.  

The people have finally had enough of these celebrities and their silence, charging them to the “digital guillotine,” and blocking them from profiting off of their views.