The General List of Celebrity Don’ts
This list evolved years ago as a kind of joke for actor/comedian friends, but then some of them actually started using it and it took on a life of its own. Recently I was asked to update it for the post-Twitter celebrity world and Lainey’s thoughts on Jessica Biel and Twitter and the dwindling cachet of celebrity mystery yesterday reminded me of the expanded and revised List. Originally it was intended to help navigate press situations and avoid creating work for the handlers. But when I revised it in light of social media eliminating the distance between celebrities and their fans, it also became about maintaining some mystique. Because we’re asking celebrities to walk an ever more precarious line between accessibility and mystery, and when your job is selling yourself as much as your work, it can be hard to know when you’ve gone too far (Dear Tom Hiddleston: TOO FAR).
On to the List.
1) DO. NOT. COMPLAIN.
Designate a couple friends and/or family members and create a Cone of Silence. All complaints should be aired within the Cone of Silence. And nowhere else.
2) Don’t lie. Ever. About anything. Not even your height.
You will get caught. If you don’t want people asking intrusive questions, do a better job of keeping your sh*t tight.
3) Don’t come in unprepared.
No, you can’t just wing it with the press. You’re not that smart.
4) Don’t use illegal substances in public.
I mean if I have to explain this, you don't deserve to be famous.
5) Don’t drink and drive.
See #4. Also, you have money. Call a cab.
6) Don't drive-by tweet.
Re-read every tweet before you post. I'm not going to say don’t tweet at all, but please, apply some forethought. And dear god, spare us your Daily Deep Thought. They're revolting and no one actually cares. (Lainey: the loving and the lighting needs to stop.)
6.a) Don't hash-tag your tweets with references to yourself and/or characters you play.
6.b) Don't argue with your fans on Twitter or Facebook.
You won't win. There are far more of them than there are of you.
7) Don't use social media platforms to explain anything that's happening in your life.
You pay an agent/manager/lawyer/publicist for a reason. (See also: Courtney Love.)
8) Don't bad-mouth another celebrity and/or get involved in a fan war on a social media platform.
You shouldn't do that in general because it's not very professional, but really don't do it on Twitter or Facebook where The Legions can easily mobilize against you. But if you DO get into it on Twitter...
8.a) Don't delete your account.
That's a pussy move for pussies. You said it, now deal with the consequences. Depending how far down your throat your foot is, apologize. Otherwise, remind yourself the bulk of the people electrically yelling at you are actual twelve year olds, and get on with your day.
9) Don't post photos if you don't want to be found.
The internet is a network of ninjas. They will find you, so be careful about when and where you're posting pictures.
10) Don't get upset at your fans for thinking you're super best friends.
If you're all up and down the social media and then someone approaches and acts like you're old pals, it's because you're tweeting at them every day like you are, in fact, old pals. The Line exists for a reason. Toe it, or don't complain when they don't.
Which celebrities could benefit from using the List?