This has been an incredibly revealing week thus far, if you’re in the business of knowing which celebrities are vaccinated against COVID-19 or not.
For instance, today Azealia Banks confirmed on Instagram — in the caption under a screenshot of a tweet musing about her vax status — that she is “100% Vaccinated.” The rapper continued: “I got vaccinated in April in Miami, and got my second shot in May in NYC. .... just because I like to share my sometimes stupid opinions doesn’t mean that I’m ACTUALLY an idiot.”
Banks, who has been forthcoming about her mental health struggles, has been frequently associated with the idiom “a broken clock is right twice a day” due to the large quantities of sometimes right, sometimes wrong, often funny, intermittently bigoted, always bold words that she flings around on the regular. She has been suspended from Twitter for racist and transphobic remarks; she called out Kendrick Lamar for saying, after the shooting of Michael Brown, that Black people need to “respect” themselves first; she endorsed (and then withdrew her endorsement of) Donald Trump for president; she has been vocal about the need for reparations; she briefly feuded with Irish people (even though many Irish would concede that she was right); she told an incredible, acid-soaked story about Grimes and Elon Musk; she once posted a video in which she appeared to be digging up and then boiling her dead cat, although she later clarified that this was for taxidermy, not dining, purposes.
In short, over the past decade she has cemented a reputation as a provocateur who is right as often as she is wrong, and even when she’s wrong, there is habitually a seed of rightness (cynicism about double standards, anti-Blackness, the denigration of women) at the root of the lashing out. That makes her a rare figure in the current cultural landscape: a messy star who manages to be cutting and political — not “actually an idiot,” in her own words — in a way that few other entertainers are. Even if she is, as stated, sometimes just plain wrong.
Which brings us to the second half of Banks’s statement: “... can other celebs get berated for being geniunely stupid without comparing it to my decades worth of sarcasm (AND REAL SHIT) that has simply gone over your heads? Like WHHHHHHY am I ALWAYS pointed out as the example??? Jeeeeeeeeeeeez.”
Good point. To provide some perspective, Nicki Minaj revealed in a series of tweets yesterday that she would not be attending the vaccine-required Met Gala because she is not yet vaccinated, citing the need to do her own research (although she also conceded that she supports masks and will probably eventually get vaccinated). She also shared an incredible anecdote about her cousin’s friend, who she said became “impotent” with swollen testicles after getting vaccinated shortly before he was due to get married. (Swollen testicles are not listed as a side effect of the vaccine, but they are often caused by sexually transmitted diseases, as many have pointed out.)
The queen of the Barbz is not the only famous person to voice vaccine hesitancy, although she is probably the one to do so in the funniest way possible. Other celebrities who have expressed vax doubt include Chet “White Boy Summer” Hanks (“It’s the motherfucking flu”), Rob Schneider (“Just say no”), and Hadid sibling Anwar (“I think everyone has to be careful with each vaccine individually looking at positive and possible negative effects”), who was not present at the Met Gala this year despite his having supermodel sisters and a pop star girlfriend.
So yeah, as far as celebrities and vaccines go, Banks is looking like an absolute genius right now.