I don’t think celebrities should be held to the assumed standard that they and their lifestyles are “perfect.” Sometimes the media is too harsh when they make a human error or tweet something ridiculous, but that is not the case with JLo’s most recent controversial tweet. On Tuesday, Jennifer Lopez tweeted the #AllLivesMatter hashtag and instantly got a lot of heat for doing so, as she should have.
The tweet has since been deleted for obvious reasons. It’s very likely that her heart was in the right place, being that the tweet was intended to promote “Love Make the World Go Round,” the song she recorded with Lin-Manuel Miranda (who just took his final bow as the title role in Hamilton). The song was produced in order to raise money for the victims of the Orlando shooting, which is a noble and admirable thing. However, how she went about promoting the song was far from admirable.
Since she only used hashtags and didn’t bother to piece together an actual sentence, I’m curious what that sentence would have looked like. Perhaps something like, “I am very ignorant and/or ill-informed about the differences between #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLives Matter and how that pertains to my song about LGBTQ rights.”
I see the PR campaign for Gigli 2 has begun pic.twitter.com/V52jwu0ghk
— meaning machine (@EricThurm) July 12, 2016
For those (like Lopez) who still don’t get the difference, comedian and Late Night with Seth Myers writer Aparna Chancherla was able to clarify what those who advocate #AllLivesMatter are all about: themselves.
All Lives Matter feels like a stranger showing up at someone's funeral & going "Hey guys, it's actually my birthday today, so could we not?"
— Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) July 9, 2016
Yup, nailed it.
I’m not the only one confused as to how this got approved by JLo’s PR people, but I bet they will be sure to proof-read from here on out. The tricky thing is that preventing tweets like this won’t solve anything. It won’t shift the initial mentality. What needs to be asked is: “Why did you think this was appropriate? Here, let me help you understand the difference.”
Sure, it’s acceptable and encouraged to get mad about mistakes like this, but then we need to be willing to sit down, listen, and most importantly, explain. Don’t stay silent when your distant cousin uses #AllLivesMatter. Confront them, even though, unlike JLo, you will be forced to see and interact with this person eventually. Sure, that makes things a bit harder, but good work, hard work, isn’t effortless.
You can use Chancherla’s joke to better explain, or try some of these other tactics for explaining why “All Lives Matter” misses the point entirely.
By Liz Magee