Blockout 2024: How A TikToker At The Met Gala Sparked A Mass Blocking Of Celebs & Influencers

blockout 2024

If you’ve been on the internet this week, chances are you’ve seen the Blockout 2024 campaign, but why is everyone blocking celebrities, and how did the Met Gala, and a ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ TikTok spark a “digital guillotine” movement? Let me explain.

What is Blockout 2024?

Blockout 2024 is an online movement in which social media users aim to spark political and social change by starving celebrities and influencers of the attention that keeps their careers alive. Celebrities and businesses are being unfollowed and/or blocked en masse for not using their platforms to speak out about the genocide in Gaza, and for just generally being out of touch about wealth and social inequality.

While the genocide in Gaza is the tip of the iceberg for the movement, participants have also been quick to note that celebrities being deeply out of touch amid horrific crises is an everpresent issue that we’re all a bit fed up with.

“Why is it that we are more invested in a small blip from a celebrity?,” TikTok user @ashcashistrash said. “I do not care if Kim Kardashian has a fucking thing to say about it. I care about the people who are on the ground suffering, the people who have educated themselves here in America, who are protesting. I do not care about celebrities and you shouldn’t either.”

The Blockout 2024 list features a list of celebrities and businesses that organisers claim “support the genocide in Gaza”, while various social media users have been circulating their own lists based on who has been silent on the issue. The yardstick for what constitutes a block ranges from not speaking out enough (in their opinion) to actively supporting Israel, depending on who you ask.

Popular names on the various lists include the Kardashians, Selena Gomez, Gal Gadot, Noah Schapp and Zendaya, among countless others.

Celebrities and influencers’ net follower change is also being tracked on the website, with Hailey Bieber reported to have lost 170k+ followers today.

How is the Met Gala connected?

The 2024 Met Gala served as a catalyst for the mass blocking after social media users pointed out the juxtaposition between the event’s exorbitant display of wealth and unchecked privilege and the almost half a million Palestinians who were forced to flee Rafah the same week.

To put it simply, the idea of celebrities and influencers attending an event reported to cost $113,000 per head while Palestinians are starving — or worse — wasn’t a good look for those in attendance.

What is the “let them eat cake” moment?

A TikToker named HayleyyBaylee (real name Hayley Kahlil) has somehow found herself in the midst of some of the biggest backlash, despite not actually having attended the Met Gala at all.

If you’re unfamiliar with the French Revolution, or the 2006 Kirsten Dunst film Marie Antoinette, the phrase “let them eat cake” may mean little more to you than a trending TikTok audio. However, the phrase — often attributed to Antoinette despite historians being pretty sure she *didn’t* say it — has a much more sinister backstory.

In Jean-Jacques Rosseau‘s book Confessions, he recalled an incident where a princess was told that peasants had no bread (aka were starving), to which she responded “then let them eat cake.” Basically, it’s the tagline for being so incredibly out of touch it’s not even funny.

So naturally, when a filthy rich TikToker used the trending audio in a Met Gala video just days after the UN Food Agency Chief declared “full blown famine” in Gaza, parallels were drawn immediately.

Kahlil quickly apologised in a nine-minute video, in which she said she didn’t know the context of the quote and never meant to offend anyone. In the lengthy apology, she tried to prove that she’s not “elite” (see: just like us) by explaining that she didn’t actually go to the Met, she was just working the pre-event coverage for E!.

She did, however, hang out with Karlie Kloss and Janelle Monae at a Met-related event.

As is to be expected, using the fact that you, too, did not go to the Met Gala as your only connection to the common man, did not go down well for Kahlil.

Kahlil’s video, and subsequent apology, was a key part of what kicked this whole thing off. But the irony in all of this? Her apology video has 30 MILLION views, and counting.

What is the objective?

The goal of Blockout 2024 is pretty simple: hit them where it hurts.

For months, activists have flooded the comments section of popular influencers and celebrities to no avail. If anything, the barrage of comments has just boosted celebrities’ engagement because all publicity is good publicity. So instead of waiting for their favourite celebrities to speak out, audience are simply redirecting their attention to real-world problems, and leaving the celebrities without their engagement.

While a decline in social media following will have varying degrees of financial impact depending on the celebrity in question and to what extent they monetize their influence, it aims to at least encourage them to use their platform to speak out about the situation.

Who has lost followers?

Countless celebs have lost followers as part of Blockout 2024, with Socialblade reporting the following losses in the last 30 days:

  • Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) – 128,730
  • Oprah (@oprah) – 57,540
  • Kylie Jenner (@kyliejenner) – 606,540
  • Kendall Jenner (kendalljenner) – 460,830
  • Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) – 1,067,790
  • Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian) – 857,700 — says this number has risen to over 3 million.
  • James Charles (@jamescharles) – 102,180
  • Jeffree Star (@jeffreestar) – 31,740
  • Beyoncé (@beyonce) – 186,000+
  • Billie Eilish (@billieeilish) – 137,000

Why is Blockout 2024 getting backlash?

As is the case with literally anything on social media, the Blockout 2024 movement already has its critics. In addition to Zionists rubbishing the entire concept, other social media users have issue with the concept of blocking celebrities and the drama of it all overshadowing the actual problem, and the other — perhaps more educational — activism on social media right now.

The subjective yardstick of what constitutes “not supporting” Palestine has also been brought into question, with celebs such as The Weeknd having donated over $4 million USD to help feed Palestinians, while not ever posted about the issue publicly.

HayleyyBaylee, the influencer who seemingly kicked off this whole thing, has since returned to her usual posting.