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Celebrity Feud or Publicity Stunt?

Published on Sept. 29, 2017 at 7:44 p.m.
by Lexi McKenzie.

Celebrity feuds have been around for decades — the first and most infamous clash occurring between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Most recently, the feud between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift has dominated headlines; Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Kim, Madonna and Elton John, and Kanye West and Taylor Swift are some other feuding celebrities you might be aware of.

The copious celebrity feuds in pop culture history lead fans to wonder how much truth is behind them, or whether they are just publicity stunts.

Don’t get me wrong; there is probably some factuality behind these confrontations. It just seems a little convenient that a small disagreement snowballs into a Hatfield & McCoy-like feud whenever a celebrity has a new album coming out or hasn’t been in the news lately.

The facts 
Setting speculation aside, here are the facts: A celebrity feud begins when one celebrity voices an opinion — whether it be about another celebrity, politics or just personal beliefs — and an offended celebrity responds in a public way via an interview, a social media post or an announcement at an event.

What exactly makes these celebrities want to air their dirty laundry in public? A plausible answer is that these issues are being exaggerated and flung into the limelight. Therefore, the public will turn their attention to the celebrities in question, resulting in them becoming relevant for the time being.

Stunts exposed
It’s hard to tell what issues are publicity stunts and which ones aren’t. A number of celebrities in the past have admitted to playing a part in a stunt. For example, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart admitted their relationship was fabricated to sell the “Twilight Saga” movies, and Anna Wintour admitted that her argument with Kanye and Kim was a ploy to sell more issues of Vogue.


Things to consider
A clever, crafted public relations strategy can benefit a company or individual and generate an increase in revenue. However, an obvious, ill-considered stunt can be extremely damaging not only to the involved company or person but also the public relations industry as a whole.

Successful publicity is an artform and should be used carefully. It only takes one slip-up to ruin a reputation and cause a company or person to be remembered in infamy.

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