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Celebrities ′pass the mic′ to COVID-19 experts | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW



While social media has been a vital source of information about the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also been a forum for unsubstantiated chatter, misinformation and conspiracy theories that too often go viral. 

But a new initiative called #PassTheMic is seeking to cut through the noise by giving leading pandemic experts and frontline workers a powerful platform: the social media accounts of A-list celebs with millions of followers.

Launched by ONE, a self-described “global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030,” with a particular focus on Africa, the initiative aims to promote “data, facts, and science to defeat COVID-19.”  

Actors Hugh Jackman, Shailene Woodley, Penelope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Busy Philipps, Danai Gurira and Robin Wright are among the Hollywood names that have committed to #PassTheMic each day and will be handing over their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to expert guests. 

ONE will publish excerpts from interviews with the guests — “people who actually know what they’re talking about” — and, as an added bonus, some video interviews will be available on ONE’s YouTube channel.

Setting the record straight

Julia Roberts kicked things off on May 21, when she handed over her Instagram account to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and interviewed him on YouTube.

Fauci, the scientific face of the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, has a tough job that requires toeing a fine line amidst a dire situation. The US is ground zero for COVID-19, with infections totaling more than 1.5 million and the death toll nearing 100,000, both global records. At the same time, he must work with a president who routinely dismisses or contradicts expert advice.

Trump has said he is taking the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to guard against coronavirus, even though it has raised safety concerns and has not yet been approved. Fauci himself has said it has not been proven effective as a COVID-19 treatment, pointing to “anecdotal evidence” only and the lack of clinial trials.  Trump is also seeking to reopen the country much earlier than experts like Fauci would like.

Screenshot Videochat Julia Roberts und Anthony Fauci #PasstheMic (

Robert’s said Fauci ‘may be the coolest man on the planet right now’

In his YouTube interview with Roberts, Fauci said, “The most important thing that people can do right now is listen to the scientific evidence. At the moment, that clearly indicates that physical separation is working to a certain extent. So now is not the time to tempt fate and pull back completely.”

He added that, “The thing that keeps me optimistic [are] the power of science and the ability to develop interventions, diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.”

Roberts referred to Fauci as one of her “heroes.” The immunologist has tackled countless pandemics and outbreaks, from HIV/AIDS to Ebola, and has advised every US president since Ronald Reagan.

Such sentiment aligns with the broader goal of #PassTheMic, which aims to raise public trust in such experts amidst an unprecedented pandemic.    

On Roberts’ Instagram account, Fauci posted on public-private partnerships to speed COVID-19 vaccine research and on “Coping with COVID-19.” His final post was an image of himself washing his hands, which had 130,000 likes as of Friday morning. He thanked people for checking in and learning about the outbreak and vaccine research “to help you and this country get back to your normal lives safely. Thanks again to Julia Roberts for letting me take over her account!” 

Global perspectives

#PassTheMic, announced on May 20 by organizer ONE, will have a necessarily global outlook

Experts to come will include Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former president of Liberia, who will impart lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic of 2014-16 and explain why we need to improve national healthcare systems; Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, a former Nigerian finance minister who serves as the chair of the global vaccine alliance GAVI; and Minouche Shafik, an Egyptian-born British-American economist and the director of the London School of Economics.

 Iweala will take over X-Men star Hugh Jackman’s social media accounts.  

ONE has previously pushed for a united response to the coronavirus pandemic with a petition that calls on world leaders to create a global pandemic response plan to “protect the vulnerable, support essential workers, and make a vaccine available to everyone.” Strengthening the readiness of healthcare systems for future pandemics is also considered key.

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Celebrity match featuring Tiger, Peyton attracts record 5.8 million cable viewers — Professional Sports — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine




Curtis Compton | AP

Curtis Compton | AP

In this April 3, 2018, file photo, Tiger Woods, left, and Phil Mickelson share a laugh on the 11th tee box while playing a practice round for the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. The next match involving Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson involves a $10 million donation for COVID-19 relief efforts, along with plenty of bragging rights in a star-powered foursome May 24 at Medalist Golf Club. Turner Sports announced more details Thursday, May 7, 2020, for “The Match: Champions for Charity,” a televised match between Woods and Peyton Manning against Mickelson and Tom Brady. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support our critical reporting on the coronavirus by purchasing a digital subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.

ATLANTA — Two of the biggest names from the PGA Tour and the NFL proved to be must-see TV.

Turner Sports said the Sunday telecast of “The Match: Champions for Charity” attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers across four of its networks. Turner says it was the most-watched golf telecast in cable TV history.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

It said the previous record was 4.9 million viewers on ESPN at the 2010 Masters, the year Tiger Woods returned to golf for the first time since the scandal in his personal life.

Woods and Peyton Manning scored a 1-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at Medalist Golf Club, a match that featured high entertainment with shots and with words, along with raising $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.

The peak was 6.3 million average viewers from 5:45 to 6 p.m. EDT. That was about the time Brady, who had been lampooned on social media for his golf skills, silenced analyst Charles Barkley by holing out from the fairway for birdie.

It was the second straight Sunday of live golf on television after the pandemic shut down the sport on March 13. The previous week, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson defeated Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole in an exhibition that NBC Sports said attracted 2.35 million viewers across all formats.

The Champions for Charity match was shown on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN.

The PGA Tour is set to return in two weeks at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, for the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Watch: Common myths about COVID-19


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5 Celebrity Eyeshadow Looks To Inspire Your Next Quarantine Makeup Experiment




You’d be hard-pressed to find a more fun, beauty-forward Instagram feed than the one belonging to Tracee Ellis Ross. When she isn’t gracing us with tasseled hip shakes and throwbacks to her mother’s glory days (it’s obvious where she gets her fabulousness from), she’s often spamming us with outrageously colorful eyeshadow looks, and she isn’t the only celebrity doing so.

The amplified desire to create in quarantine has given way to an especially bold makeup trend that Ross is merely leading the charge on. Perhaps as a way to combat boredom, people have finally started dipping their brushes into colors they never dared to wear out in public. Often times even piling a few different hues on at once.

In a tutorial she did for Vogue in April, Bebe Rexha took a page out of Ross’ book and debuted bright-blue, David Bowie-like lids. At that point, Winnie Harlow had already been hosting Instagram Lives in which she would go wild with eyeshadow and catty liner. The trend has only escalated since then.

If you haven’t already converted your lids into an art canvas, you doubtless will after seeing these five experiment-worthy eyeshadow looks.

Tracee Ellis Ross’ Color-Blocked Neons

Romy Soleimani / Instagram

You can count on Tracee Ellis Ross to be constantly sporting some sort of neon shade on her lids. First, it was lime green, then she debuted this color-blocked creation with a hot-pink base and a swipe of tangerine under the brow. She did mention that she had some help from makeup artist Romy Soleimani on this one, but it isn’t out of the ordinary for her to pursue such an ambitious look herself.

Bebe Rexha’s Blue

In the April makeup tutorial she did for Vogue, Bebe Rexha doused her lids in a striking shade of azure, saying it was inspired by Debbie Harry, the lead singer of Blondie. ’80s-style blue eyeshadow — such as Rexha’s icy hue or more cobalt variations — has been making a major comeback lately.

Soft Pink À La Lady Gaga

Another new eyeshadow trend is to match your lid color with your cheeks, your lips, or in Lady Gaga’s case, your hair. The latest obsession with pastel hair tints is a perfect excuse to trial the monochromatic hair-to-eyeshadow look. The best way to guarantee cohesiveness is to use a single product (be it an eyeshadow or a cream lipstick) throughout an entire makeup look.

Or Hot-Pink Lids Like Winnie Harlow’s

Winnie Harlow skipped over the softer shades and beelined for the brightest magenta she could find, paired with a sharp, white-lined cat-eye and a playful heart on her cheek in the tutorial she did during the early days of quarantine.

Vanessa Hudgens’ Yellow Inner Corners

Inner corner eyeliner is taking over the virtual ether and bringing inner corner eyeshadow along for the ride. Vanessa Hudgens’ burst of yellow — which obviously matched her nail polish perfectly — is a prime example of this emerging trend. And could it possibly be any more ideal for the summer to come?

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The New Music Celebrity – Cherwell




The glossy pages of the likes of NME and Rolling Stone were pored over by music aficionados in the past, hoping for a snippet of the intent of their hero’s use of a 5/4 time hi-hat on Track 6. Those unwrinkled pages were very much the landscape of music journalism in the past: a smooth grassland of domineering publications with any disturbance being minute, in the form of a fanzine or otherwise. It was a time in which scathing remarks and low ratings were very much part and parcel of music reviewing. So much so that Rolling Stone re-reviews now-beloved albums that they gave on initial release a mixed to poor review. Although these giants have wielded weighty words, many music fans approach traditional publications with scepticism and derision.

Circulation remained afloat nevertheless, with magazines fighting for exclusive interviews and photoshoots with the same musicians that they may have dismissed years earlier. Huge artists were part of a pantheon, defined by their myths and legends, and only music journalists had the authority to poke holes.

With the arrival of the World Wide Web in the early ’90s however, the internet became the meteor to wipe out the dinosaur publications. All of a sudden, fanzine (a portmanteau of fan and magazine) creators with no background in professional publishing could create blogs online dedicated to the independent music scene—crucially, with a guaranteed readership. Blogs shifted the focus away from glorifying the larger-than-life rock stars to profiling up-and-comers still playing the pub circuit. ‘Pitchfork’, now owned by Condé Nast, is heralded as a bastion of music reviewing, but it started out as a humble Chicago-based online music magazine. No longer did circulation and sales matter, but rather clicks and hits.

In an era of instant, anytime, anywhere media, video music journalism has undoubtedly become the hivemind of the internet music community. One of the early pioneers of D.I.Y videos is the eclectic, offbeat Nardwaur. The self-proclaimed ‘Human Serviette’, his work dates back as early as 1985, interviewing the likes of Courtney Love back in the heyday of ‘Hole’, and most recently interviewing industry it-girl Billie Eilish. Donning a tam o’shanter and a scarily encyclopaedic knowledge of the artist at hand, his charmingly bizarre interview style is enough to knock back any PR-curated facade. Even the previously-mentioned Pitchfork have capitalised on the visual media market, with video essays and even interviews where artists breakdown their creative process, all with a technical focus.

To talk about internet music journalism without mentioning Anthony Fantano would be impossible. His YouTube channel ‘theneedledrop’ has amassed over 2 million subscribers as of the writing of this article, and his influence has no signs of halting in the near future. ‘The internet’s busiest music nerd’ is famous for his album review videos, rounding off with a final score out of ten. This flagship content is interspersed with takes on industry news and, in the past, meme reviews The overwhelming appeal of Fantano may appear baffling to outsiders; there are few, if any, examples in history where a music critic has a clamouring fanbase magnitudes larger than many of the artists he reports on. It seems he has the perfect balance of sincerity and amusement; packaging compelling analysis in a wrapping of internet humour and distinct channel branding.

These online personalities have created enormous followings, and they have somehow become the new music celebrity. In an era where artists are more accessible than ever (see the multitude of Instagram lives during quarantine!), there is less need for journalists to brawl for the latest scoops when many artists are open to talking about their lives through social media. Nardwuar and Fantano, on the other hand, remain elusive to their fans, with appearances outside of their own content rare, which keeps interest and speculation rolling.

Nonetheless, the fixation with someone like Fantano’s music criticism can be inhibiting. I too have been guilty of hanging onto every word, waiting for the gavel to drop and the final rating to be uttered, but it has been argued amongst online communities that some fans may be forming musical opinions entirely based on the words of a few individuals. Ultimately, they are human too, and healthy disagreement is far more valuable to the discussion. Such behaviour, however, has existed since the dawn of music criticism and has simply been magnified by the lens of social media.

Regardless, the rise of independent journalism has been praised for its coverage of fringe genres and can be credited in part for expanding modern music tastes, with a face to boot. Where Rolling Stone was more concerned with the big label mainstream, niche artists with less industry backing are finally taking up their rightful space in the musical zeitgeist.

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