Here at divine.ca, we know you love gossip. You flock to our news+gossip section daily, and we notice the comments you make towards Hollywood’s hottest–both good and bad. We recently had a chance to chat with Elaine Lui while on her Montreal stop of her cross-Canada Faculty of Celebrity Studies gossip tour with vitaminwater. The eTalk personality and “smuthound” behind the popular Lainey Gossip blog answered a few of our questions, and gave us an insight on why some of you give celebrities a hard time, and why you defend some of their actions.
But should a love of gossip be your dirty little secret? Absolutely not! “I want people to defend talking shit about a celebrity!” Lui tells us. “I crusade for the value of gossip. It isn’t bad when it’s done right. It isn’t more or less important than sports or politics; it has a benefit in society.” And that’s what that night’s lecture on celebrity gossip was all about, that talking about Hollywood gossip is “an activity that is more insightful and cerebral that people give it credit for.”
While Lui certainly gave us some insight on some of Hollywood’s hottest, she took the time to sit down with us and answer a few of our pressing questions. Her answers definitely gave us pause and allowed us to look at gossip a little bit differently.
Why do you think are people are drawn to Hollywood gossip?
“There are two answers to this. First, celebrities are people who exist for us to talk about. They’re to be observed and analysed, mocked, cared about, and so on. Celebrities are not celebritiess without an audience. We’re as essential to their careers as is their real work. They want us to talk about them. For all the complaining they do, their very existence depends on our existence; it’s a symbiotic relationship.
“Second, gossip and entertainment news—as I’ve been arguing throughout this tour—is a reflection of who we are as a culture. You can’t say gossip exists in a vacuum; any time you discuss a gossip story, what you’re saying is, “Reese got arrested and this is what I think about it.” It’s communicating our value system, our morality, our opinion… Whenever you exchange that kind of personality belief, that’s anthropology; it’s a discussion of who we are as a culture.