Lindsay Shookus is famous by association. She’s fame-adjacent. I don’t think that’s up for debate. A new feature on Lindsay in ELLE opens with the following line… 

Lindsay Shookus isn’t famous. Or is she? 

… and continues with an anecdote about diners at 30 Rockefeller Plaza trying to figure out who Lindsay is as she walks by. The profile makes a very obvious point to drive home the fact that Lindsay Shookus does not want to be famous and “isn’t seeking the spotlight” even though she is very much in it because that she’s dating Ben Affleck. The piece is mostly fluff and reads like a defense of Lindsay’s character. According to the profile, she’s a doting mom who still gets along with her ex-husband. It implies that the infidelity rumours were preposterous and the writer even gets defensive on Lindsay’s behalf in the middle of the piece.  

Before you shout, “Then why is she in a magazine?,” know that ELLE approached her for this story, and it took a lot of convincing for her to do it.

Weird. No one was shouting. So, Lindsay didn’t seek out the press. Fine. But maybe she should have. A piece like this on Lindsay’s work ethic and competence as a powerful head producer at SNL who discovered Kristen Wiig and Sam Smith could have been useful during the messy rollout of her relationship with Ben Affleck. If you remember, at the time, Lindsay and Ben did try to use to her job to counter reports that she was a husband-abandoning home-wrecking fame-seeker. They were up against Jennifer Garner though. Hard to beat a master at her own game. 

From a work perspective, the profile is flattering and paints a picture of Lindsay as a badass at her job. A badass who prefers to be behind the camera instead of in front of it.   

… when it comes to discussing her relationship with Affleck, she’d rather, you know, not. “My entire career has been behind the camera, and that’s definitely where I’m most comfortable. I’m a producer, I’m a mom, a friend,” she politely deflects. “Being considered a public figure honestly makes me laugh.” 

She’d rather, you know, not talk about Ben Affleck but if you’re giving an interview to a magazine, no matter how much convincing it took for you to do it, you know these questions are coming. We saw more paparazzi shots of Lindsay Shookus last year than legitimate famous people. We for sure saw her more than Adele. We maybe saw her more than Britney Spears. There have been times that Lindsay Shookus does not look like she hates the attention. Maybe that’s some unfair Photo Assumption but she can’t just deflect from the main reason ELLE is interested in profiling her in the first place when she was rocking a different scarf and flashing a new grin in every pap shot of 2017. 

This may be a harsh truth that no one wants to admit but Lindsay Shookus doesn’t get profiled in ELLE like this if it wasn’t for her boyfriend. I’d be more impressed with Lindsay if she owned that hard truth. Instead, by the end of the piece, I started to buy less and less that Lindsay had to be convinced to do a profile that literally includes the line, “Can the world give Shookus a break?” and a note that she has “tons of friends.”

Being fame-adjacent sounds so tough. This ELLE feature is so blatantly a puff piece I’m now wondering about the timing. Why now? 

You can read the rest of Lindsay’s profile here.