‘Met Gala Massacre’ — social media slams fashion’s biggest night, the Met Gala, as Israel invades Rafah

The first Monday of May coincided with occupying forces entering Rafah, where millions of Palestinians were taking refuge.
07 May, 2024

The Met Gala took place in New York City on Monday — if you were unaware, what is often dubbed fashion’s biggest night is a parade of avant-garde fashion worn by A-list Hollywood celebrities. The gala, which attracts mass media attention, is a yearly mammoth fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.

However, this year, the occurrence of the Met Gala — hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour — was heavily critiqued by netizens because of the worsening situation in Gaza as Israel amps up its aggression.

On the first Monday of May, the day that marks the celebration of the gala, Israel called on Palestinians to leave eastern Rafah, amid increasing global alarm about the consequences of an Israeli ground invasion of the city.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Anto­nio Guterres, condemned the order and said it would be “impossible to carry out safely”.

Millions of Palestinians lived and were taking refuge in Rafah, however, Tel Aviv has apparently moved several brigades close to the city.

As we watch the massacre of an entire nation from our phones and computers, it is incredibly difficult to celebrate the ‘first Monday of May’ and watch celebrities parade around in outfits worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (which let’s be real, they will only wear once). Meanwhile, in Gaza, threats of famine loom amidst death and destruction.

The jarring juxtaposition of the two simultaneously occurring events feels dystopian (to say the least) and is reminiscent of The Hunger Games, as several X (formerly Twitter) users pointed out.

People maintained that the dystopian nature of the situation was “excruciating”, especially since pictures of injured children from Gaza were “interspersed” with images of Met Gala fashion online.

“Doing the Met Gala at this moment in time feels like how the Germans were still doing big movie premieres in Berlin in 1945,” an X user wrote, referring to the second world war when Hitler’s Nazi Germany persecuted Jewish people.

Others used their platforms to direct attention to the tragedy of Gaza, and called for “all eyes on Rafah”, with one individual emphasising that it was “insane” that some were “fretting over people’s fits”.

“I love fun. I love frivolity. I do. But wake up,” they urged.

There was also outrage over the cost of the Met Gala tickets, with each one selling for a whopping $75,000. One individual highlighted that the cost of one ticket could evacuate up to three families from Gaza.

“The entire event is a profit-oriented display of privilege and wealth which Isnotreal will probably use to distract from bombing on Rafah,” an X user wrote.

People were also quick to highlight that high-profile events, featuring Hollywood’s elite were often used as a “distraction” to divert attention from Israeli aggression as people’s social media timelines flood with the latest pop-culture happenings. An X user maintained that “Israel always intensifies the bombing when they know the world will be distracted with a major event”.

“The Super Bowl, the Oscars, the Met Gala. They’re relying on you being distracted by terrible rich people parading around doing terrible rich people things while they invade Rafah and massacre thousands,” a netizen wrote, urging people to keep talking about Palestine.

“While you’re distracted by the Met Gala, people in Rafah, the last designated ‘safe zone’ in Palestine, are being murdered by Israel,” another user wrote.

Netizens were also quick to express severe disapproval of the Met Gala, with one individual calling it the “Met Gala Massacre”, indicating that Israel rushed to “mass evacuate Rafah and immediately start bombing” it because the gala served as a distraction. Other users maintained that they found it hard to care about the event “when Israel is actively bombing the last livable place in Gaza”.

“You think your respect for the ‘civilised’ world can’t get any more extinct but then they show you their evil, their callousness, their indifference.”

Celebrities attending the Met Gala also came under fire, with some claiming we live in a “deeply sick society”. Another user said celebrities looked “goofy… posing in their little outfits for the Met Gala”. They maintained that the celebrities’ energy was “clueless, classless and desperate.”

An individual highlighted that the “majority of these celebrities and their designers have shown no spine or remorse to what’s been happening since October 7”.

Some also made comparisons between the coverage received by celebrities on the red carpet and those mourning their deceased loved ones in Gaza.

“Nine men tenderly placed Cardi B’s dress on the Met Gala floor. Yet the solitary bodies of infants bombed in Gaza by the US and Israel weigh heavier.”

Another person maintained that a “man carrying a celebrity unable to walk in her tight dress at the Met Gala is getting more coverage than a father carrying his dead child in Rafah”, referring to singer Tyla, who had to be carried up the steps of the museum because she could not move in her dress.

One X user took a kinder approach, as they encouraged people to post “simultaneously” about both Gaza and the Met Gala.

“While the met is very fun and exciting, please if you are posting about the Met Gala, please simultaneously post about Gaza and Palestine and everything [that is] happening.”

Meanwhile, pro-Palestine protesters in New York converged near the Met Gala in a rally against the ongoing war in Gaza, leading to several arrests, police said.

Among the rallying points were the gates of Columbia University, which has been the centre of spreading demonstrations, before protesters marched through Manhattan to American fashion’s biggest night — or at least as close as police would let them.

It was unclear how many arrests were made as stars walked the carpet and posed for photos, but AFP journalists confirmed several arrests while the New York Daily News reported the number was about a dozen, out of hundreds that gathered near the soiree.

Organisers on X posted a flier for an event dubbed the “Citywide Day of Rage for Gaza.” Monday’s protest appeared unconnected to the demonstrations that have rocked Columbia’s campus, culminating in the university calling the police to clear out student protesters.

We can’t help but completely agree with all the tweets, it is extremely difficult to turn a blind eye to the suffering of an entire people and focus on what Zendaya and Chris Hemsworth were wearing, or who designed Lana Del Ray’s outfit.

All eyes on Rafah.

Additional input from AFP


Tahmad May 07, 2024 05:52pm
Peace loving people around the world are simply united to end war in Gaza are in the interest of all nations and our only planet on earth. Most Israelis and Palestinians and rest of the world wants peace in the Middle East and the two states solution in the Middle East.
Parbat May 08, 2024 10:10am
Really sick