Many have criticized the view of the image of an “auteurist” celebrity like Piers Morgan tearing down “the pretensions” of other influencers to “speak out for the people” because of their good looks. If there was one celebrity who could probably clear the air on this relationship, it would be CNN’s Richard Quest. Quest, the long-running news anchor on the network, appeared on Twitter Tuesday to comment on a story that had appeared in his namesake news magazine section: “Just watched CNN’s Richard Quest narrate his own 2 minute Xbox One video game … Bloody hell,” wrote Playboy columnist Matthew Tee. That prompted NBC’s Melinda Gates, mother of Bill and other Microsoft co-founder, to respond to Quest via the Twitter link to his video.
“Just watched @RichardQuest narrate his own 2 minute Xbox One video game … Blood yodel” — Melinda Gates (@melindagates) July 31, 2018
One episode of Quest’s adventuring YouTube profile video goes something like this: “Time is now no more,” begins a shot of Quest standing in front of a gaming console’s controller, “so time is all you have to wait … and you can escape the heaps of things that wear you down.” Quest spends the next minute methodically describing his situation: that he has a dying mother, a job that wears him out, and that he is literally losing his mind. That’s a very un-Microsoft video, but as Quest noted in a follow-up tweet, Gates himself had been a contestant on the show Top Chef.
For my next video, I’d like to do the opposite of @MelindaGates and @BarackObama. Bring along the world’s most popular 5th-person group. https://t.co/2Q3aYsRZe7 — Richard Quest (@RichardQuest) July 31, 2018
And then Quest and Gates got into the real discussion that needed to happen: What are we now? @RichardQuest pic.twitter.com/9LAhbH9CLB — Melinda Gates (@melindagates) July 31, 2018
At the beginning of this discussion, Quest had commented that this video did not have “a Piers Morgan” image — and one might see why Quest would be so reticent to say that. Morgan, among other “pits,” has condemned several other popular figures in the beauty industry — namely, Harry Styles and Demi Lovato — as unattractive for having Caucasian looks. But the argument between Quest and Gates over what we are now is actually not as fraught as the hard questions about “self-obsession,” but rather about what we will be once physical appearance is “no longer a major consideration” in the way it used to be.
The fact that we are not sure what we are now, then, makes the identity politics of Quest, Gates, and perhaps even Vice President Mike Pence more challenging. But the fact that these speakers so readily agree on what body image is no longer important, in short, means that we have moved quite a ways past some of the familiar inequalities that have long helped make their professional success and accomplishments.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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