Megan’s Pop Culture Watch: May 2022

Media is messy. With countless social platforms and ever-changing trending pages, it is easy to miss the biggest headlines. The Messenger is back with the latest triumphs, trends and troubles of the pop culture world.

Lunar Eclipse

Marvel’s newest show “Moon Knight” starring Oscar Isaac quickly eclipsed the hearts of many fans. The series follows museum shop clerk Steven Grant as he navigates both living with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and serving as an Egyptian god’s earthly avatar. This all seems simple enough until Grant finds himself waking up in precarious situations with (literal) blood on his hands – he has to work together with his other identities to stop the killings so that he can finally sleep through the night. 

“Moon Knight” has been praised for featuring a heroic main character who suffers from a mental health disorder such as DID. Although this is not Marvel’s first time depicting mental illness on the big screen (Tony Stark, the Winter Soldier, and many more have raised awareness for other types of mental illnesses), it is the first time that they have placed DID at the forefront of the protagonist’s character, as it is an essential trait of the Moon Knight. Additionally, “Moon Knight” does not portray people with DID as extremely dangerous and maniacal as is often done in today’s media, such as in M. Night Shyamalan’s movie “Split.” Many hope that this is one step closer to a universe filled with more humanistic heroes.

“Moon Knight” is also Marvel’s first attempt at a show that is completely divergent from its movies, complete with a brand new cast and set of directors that fans are absolutely loving. The character of Moon Knight has been in the comics since 1975 but is just now becoming a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Many fans hope that the series’ end will not be the end of the Moon Knight, but rather the beginning of a new “lunar phase” of Marvel. 

The Pirates of the American Legal System

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Hearsay, I say! 

April marked the beginning of the defamation trial brought by “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard. Although the couple officially split in 2016, the two have maintained a continuous battle over an op-ed Heard wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences with domestic and sexual assault. Though the article never mentions Depp by name, its publication resulted in him suffering in contract losses, social standing and fans.  

Bits and pieces of the trial have been going viral on social media, with many viewers taking Heard’s lawyers for fools as they relentlessly call objections for hearsay, even objecting to their own questions at one point. Viewers were especially taken with Depp’s comedic responses to Heard’s lawyer during his four-day long deposition, cracking the gallery up with dry sarcasm as he found humor in the situation that has caused him immense pain. Depp’s deposition provided  evidence of Heard being violent toward Depp, with audio of her explicitly stating, “I was not punching you [Depp], I was hitting you,” amongst other forms of incriminating evidence that paint Heard as the abuser.

Heard took the stand in early May, recounting terrifying memories of the alleged abuse that occured between 2014 and 2015 in between sobs. Though the stories are truly gruesome and detailed, many Internet users do not believe Heard’s claims. Twitter as well as other social media platforms are filled with charged posts about Heard’s “crocodile tears” and even some forms of proof against the abuse that she is recounting. They also point to Heard’s mannerisms on the stand, such as posing for a picture while wiping her tears, as proof of her faking being upset over the “abuse” that took place. 

TikTok has become the site of much controversy of the claims of Amber Heard and her lawyers. Most notably, the cosmetics company Milani created a TikTok video to dispute Heard’s claims that she used a specific Milani concealer palette to cover up the bruises from Depp’s alleged abuse. The TikTok asserts that this palette was released in 2017, while Heard is claiming that she used it between 2014 and 2016. Many viewers took this as notable evidence that Heard is lying about everything, as seen in the TikTok’s comment section, and the media tides have consequently started to turn against Heard, even after her testimony.  

Even with its comedic aspects, much of the case evidence focuses on the sensitive topic of domestic abuse. Until it is decided, many viewers watch with bated breath to see who is going to win. 

Gilded or Garbage?

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It is that time of year again when celebrities dress up to be photographed on the carpeted red stairs of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and still completely miss the theme of the night. The 2022 Met Gala theme was “Gilded Glamor,” alluding to the Gilded Age of New York City, a time of great prosperity along with great hardship. As always, the Internet had much to say on many of the looks of Hollywood’s favorite stars.

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Very few celebrities got raving reviews on their clothing choices for the night. Met Gala co-chair Blake Lively came out a clear winner, strutting a two-toned Versace dress that resembled the colors of the Statue of Liberty, changing from copper to blue-green due to the saltwater air. Billie Eilish was also extremely on theme, wearing a corset dress that seems as if it came straight out of the late 19th century.

Kim Kardashian wore the stunning dress that Marilyn Monroe wore while singing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy, raising some controversial opinions on preserving the historic artifact instead of ruining it by wearing it; Kardashian later stated that she only wore the gown briefly for photos, and immediately changed into a duplicate dress once she was off the carpet. Viewers were angered more when it came out that Kardashian went on an extreme diet to fit in the dress, indirectly promoting eating disorders as a way to become skinny.

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The majority of outfits got a general consensus of dislike, mostly due to their complete disregard for the theme. Amongst the most hated include Kylie Jenner, who wore a tulle-filled wedding dress complete with a backwards baseball hat veil. Her look was a tribute to the late Off-White founder Virgil Abloh who was a close friend of hers, but many were still confused on how that particular dress fit the theme. Camila Cabello donned a white dress adorned with colorful ruffles that many complained was extremely far off theme. The Internet expected more out of such an easy theme as “Gilded Glamor,” and many were disappointed when their favorites did not dress to impress. 

Many hope the theme of next year’s Met Gala will allow for little to no room for missing the theme!

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