Monthly Archives: May 2021

Injustice Vs. the U.S.

Ask anyone and they can confirm, 2020 has been one crazy year, but even though the year is over, will the madness carryover?

TMZ is a tabloid journalism platform that publicizes the most up to do new stories from sports and celebrities to politics and news. Often times, stories put out by the tabloids beat mainstream media to the public. One particular area TMZ has covered is the heat regarding the black community. TMZ’s content reports truth when creating content for their viewers. However, TMZ has been known to cause some controversy when it comes to “facts” especially relating to celebrities making it non trustworthy for some viewers. Identification is the process people assume the identity, roles, and perspective of an individual. Audience are often able to connect more with celebrities who share the same views creating a sense of connection and unison. The more famous a celebrity, the more influence they hold. Identification is expressed in audiences through the mainstream media stars representation similar to a mascot. For example, MLK, Malcom X, Colin Kapernick, and Jesse Williams act as famous representation for the black community.

Specifically speaking, the black community has faced the most difficult of times in terms of race than any other ethnicity this past year. Each post displays a difficulty the black community has faced. Breonna Taylor’s death in March of 2020 due to the hands of the Louisville police constructed an uproar of injustice in the black community. Not long after, the death of George Floyd in May of 2020 generated the memorable “I can’t breathe” quote Floyd pleaded as officer Derek Cauvin knelt on his neck for 9 minutes leading to Floyd’s death. Although it is not the first of killing of a black person by police, the incident of George Floyd provoked an outcry of protestors in the support of the black community.

The posts analyzed collectively focus on the injustices placed on the black community but strive for all viewers to access the differences. In an interview with Lil Yatchy (famous hip hop artist) he is asked “What do you think is the impact of MLB, Hollywood productions, and other big business pulling out of Georgia in protest of laws making it difficult for people of color to vote?” Often times it is more influential to take advice from someone who is in the same group as you, faces the same circumstances, and hold a position of power. This post was more laid back and catered to a younger generation. Jordan Blake (an unarmed black victim shot by police) expresses his gratitude for the verdict on Derek Cauvin even calling it “the first big step in changing the world” providing hope for the black community. Jordan Blake’s clip is specifically picked out because he himself is a victim of police injustice. The title “Lets get the rest of them” supports the overall message of the post, a step in the right direction. Not only was there a clip of Jordan Blake’s reaction to the verdict, but verdict itself and the clip of evidence from his own incident was displayed warning viewers in bright colors of the “shocking” and “brutal” graphics shown”. The attack on the capital is another issue not directly spotlighted on the black community, but raises eyebrows when compared to protests in support of BLM. When asked Lebron James (professional NBA player) says “If those were my kind storming the Capitol, what would have been the outcome? And, I think we all know.” Below the clips is a screenshot of James’ instagram post in a shirt saying “DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW?” referring to the injustices the black community still faces.

Race/ Ethnicity/ Identity in gossip cites

It is not easy to understand why gossip sites post what they do. They want to be a place that news can run wild. Even if the topic is controversial. In trying to analyze three articles. I noticed that somethings within post can be similar. In the three I analyzed it appears that the target audience is the country itself. Because of the severity of the topics or headlines, they couldn’t really angle the piece towards one group. The purpose of the posts were to inform. Because of certain areas of cases such as the George Floyd case. Two of the posts corresponded with the verdict of the case that saw former cop, Derek Chauvin, charged with man slaughter. So in that sense they wanted to inform what was happening. So they had to reach out to everyone instead of target one specific group. However one thing that tends to be misplaced is visual effects. Using images to an advantage. You can pull on emotions little by little with the right choice of visuals. Much of the visuals used for the posts did not correspond well. Nothing added to the stories. It became bland and boring. I would have included photos that applied to the story instead of having adds, the same ad throughout the posts. All these posts involve the same type of story. The BLM in some fashion or another. It involves for a call of change. How we all need to be treated in the same way. The problem with these gossip sites however, are that they do not always report the truth. Gossip sites are about telling the story fast, rather than telling it truthfully. But, the reason they are able to facilitate a lot of buzz is how they report the celebrities. They dig deep into celebrities lives. Bringing out the average everyday human life within the fame. People love seeing there idols doing simple things just like them.

But how do gossip sites use identification and help relate celebrities to people like us?

Gossip blogs are able to use the normality of a celebrities life to attract more buzz. Gossip sites know people love seeing the average middle class activities celebrities do. In our minds, we see celebrities as idols. And we love putting celebrities in a certain class with ourselves. Gossip sites try to identify celebrities with middle class individuals to create that sense of “they are just average people like us”.

I chose three articles from TMZ, one regarding ethnicity, one religion, and one about race. One article basically explained that Bryce Hall is being sued for beating up Hernan Fernando simply because he was Mexican. The next article regarded a high school football coach that used “anti Semitic play calls” during a game. Lastly, the third article explained Britney Spears’ support for Black Lives Matter and that some of her Instagram followers are angry with her for this. I thought all of these articles were fitting for what we have focused on throughout this class.

Charges filed against Bryce Hall over Hollywood parties - New York Daily  News
This is Bryce Hall…

For the article regarding Bryce Hall, he was at a restaurant and fought a man as the motive behind the fight was solely because the man, Fernando, was Mexican. Before the fight began, Hall was allegedly yelling at Fernando saying “I’m from Bel-Air, and you’re just a fat Mexican who works at a restaurant.” TMZ added that Fernando is “suing Bryce, Rory and their pals for assault, battery, emotional distress, and for attacking him based on his ethnicity.” The intended audience for this article has to be those that know who Bryce Hall is, meaning his fans or haters. Bryce Hall is a well known social media influencer on Tik Tok. Therefore, a younger crowd of people is more than likely the audience for this article. The purpose behind this article is probably just to gossip and find dirt on well known people. The fight was not a brawl, however the root of the fight is what is wrong. To hate someone because of their ethnicity is completely wrong and to be a social media influencer, influencing a young audience, makes it that much worse. Going back to the quote from TMZ, Fernando is suing because Hall acted this way solely because he was Mexican. There are only videos on this article and I cannot link them, however to summarize, these videos show Hall and his friends at the restaurant via Snapchat video as well as the injury Fernando had on his fingers.

Ex Coach Maimaron at the football game before he was fired.

For the second article, it regards the high school football coach that used anti- Semitic calls during a football game. Ex coach,”Dave Maimaron used terms such as Auschwitz, rabbi, and dreidel to describe plays for his players”. The intended audience is athletes, coaches, or any others who are involved in the sports world in some way. This is because, those who play, coach, or spectate, any sports games know that this kind of action is unacceptable. The true purpose of this post on TMZ is to inform the public that things like this still happen and younger generations are still being exposed to and taught wrong doings like this. This action by Mairaron made the public very angry as “days of parents, fans and civil rights leaders calling for action … the school finally made the move to can the coach Wednesday, blasting him for the naming of the calls.” For when the public found out about the offensive language that Mairaron was using, they would not rest until the community knew and Mairaron was fired. The main message communicated through this post is that offensive language, especially around teenagers is unacceptable and if the community comes together to receive justice, things will come together.

Lastly, the third article was about Britney Spears’ support with Black Lives Matter. The headline says “Britney Spears posts support for Black Lives Matter…Some Followers Pissed!!!” Below is the post that got people talking.

The audience to this is those who follow Britney Spears and those who understand the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. The purpose of this article is to provide that even celebrities speak out on issues such as racism, but no matter what there will always be backlash. TMZ added that many celebrities thought that Britney Spears “went too far” on her post that provided that white people have generational wealth and black people have generational trauma. The main message behind this article is to explain that people will always have a problem with others. Despite the reason for the post, some people will have an issue with others, especially when it comes to celebrities. The TMZ article explained that people thought it was not Spears’ place to speak on the topic because she is white.

To continue on with this, these posts work together well as they all are regarding concerns with a particular topic. Each article consists of people speaking out in one way, whether it be through social media, through the law, or through the community. In the first article, I think that this story could have been slightly misconstrued or exaggerated slightly. I think people like to make social media influencers constantly look bad and give them bad reputations. Yes, I am sure Bryce Hall is in the wrong in some ways, however this does not mean Fernando did not instigate a fight with him first. However, with the second story regarding the high school football coach, this story consisted of facts. It had a lawsuit involved and was strictly facts whereas the Bryce Hall story seemed to be a story more for attention. Regarding fandom, these kinds of posts definitely facilitate fandom. With the Britney Spears and Bryce Hall story, both of these celebrities definitely gained some kind of attention and their name was being spoken of more often than usual. Identification is when the audience assumes the identity or stance that another person believes or holds. For example, the audience would assume that Bryce Hall is racist, the audience would assume that the football coach hates Jewish people, and that Britney Spears stands with the black community and does not support police officers. Celebrity gossip sites such as TMZ feed into identification and are definitely very biased in their articles. For, this feeds into identification as the audience is often swayed the way that the article is written towards.