Celebrities Must Go “Antiviral”

Andrew Greene
3 min readApr 12, 2024


“Celebrities are not people, they’re group hallucinations.”

Brandon Cronenberg’s sick directorial debut finds us in a dystopian present where our celebrity culture has gone viral, literally.

Diehard fans of celebrities flock to clinics to buy the latest pathogen from their idols. Just imagine: you could get the same cold, hell, you could get the same herpes simplex virus as Taylor Swift! Hott. You can’t get any closer to someone than sharing an illness with them.

In this world, when celebrities get sick, they sell their blood for big-time money, signing exclusive contracts with corporations who sell their library of diseases to the thirsty public desperate for connection, desperate to be close to fame, to have fame flow through their veins.

You can even buy meat grown from celebrities’ cells at the local butcher shop. Just imagine: the T-Swift T-Bone is on special today! Mmm. When there’s no more content left to consume, you might as well consume the content creator.

It’s not particularly hard to get the message here: celebrity is a disease, a symptom of capitalism that breeds inequality through individualism. And boy, are we infected.

I’ve had a billion celebrity crushes. I still get tinglies remembering that Joshua Jackson put his hand on my shoulder at the TCAs. I’ve watched many an E! Red Carpet unironically. I’ve been to the Oscars and was too scared to talk to Shirley MacLaine. I shouldn’t share this but I’ve used certain filmmakers’ names as passwords. I don’t like it, but there’s a part of me that writes, that creates in hopes of fame and fortune, of the validation I never got in high school. I’ve imagined giving an Oscar speech many times.

We are so desperate to be close to celebrity, to fame, to the Cool Kids, because they have what we want, or at least, what we’ve been programmed to want. They are gleaming beacons of capital, success stories. They are vessels in which we escape from reality, living vicariously through them, much like we do with our favorite characters in our favorite shows and movies. But while celebrity is an artifice, they are real people with real power and a responsibility to stand for something.

While 40,000 people and counting have been killed in Palestine, 92% of whom are civilians, I have seen more people talking about awards shows and opportunistic tabloid romances. While several genocides are taking place on this burning planet of ours to sustain our consumption / military, we continue to separate entertainment from politics, to separate what is happening in the world outside from our scripted and unscripted content.

Uncoupling from celebrity culture won’t cure the disease, but it’s a start.



Andrew Greene

Writer, director. Creator of The Naked Man Podcast. Human sampler tray following breadcrumbs, forever hungry. @WanderingGreene on IG, Letterboxd & Twitter