As long as there have been celebrities, there have been people attempting to out them as rude or hard to work with. But on TikTok, these “celebs exposed” vids go beyond quick fan sightings to workers who found themselves in a service capacity with a star. They suggest that the reign of unchecked power enjoyed by celebrities who come down to wander among normal people like Marie Antoinette with lip filler may be coming to an end. They’re a sign that social unrest has trickled, however mildly, into celebrity culture.
It’s not a thoroughly progressive change—notably, the majority of the celebrities rated in these videos are women. When male stars are rated, their scores are usually higher. A male celebrity is also significantly less likely to be described as “a huge bitch.”
Is this craze a sign that even celebrities are being held accountable for not recognizing the dignity of low wage workers? Or is it just a cover for gossip? Are these TikToks an important check on the behavior of the rich and influential? Or just another example of how viral internet trends can iron the nuance out of human behavior?
“Imagine being a celeb,” said Australian model Rebecca Judd in horror, dissecting Carolann’s video on a radio show. “Imagine how nervous you would feel that you were going to get rated.”
Imagine! No hell below us—nowhere for bad tippers to go. These examples, below, represent just a few of the giant, growing crop of celebrity exposed TikToks.
The most headline-making name in Carolann’s TikTok, above, became Bieber—ironic, because Bieber was the only person in the videos who has since publicly apologized to Carolann. In the video Carolann says, “I’ve met her a handful of times and every time she was not nice! I really want to like her, but I have to give her, like, a three-point-five out of ten. Sorry!” Bieber responded to the popular video in the comments section, writing, “Just came across this video, and wanted to say so sorry if I’ve ever given you bad vibes or a bad attitude. That’s not ever my intention. Hate hearing that was your experience with me but glad u called me out so I can do better!! Hopefully we meet again so I can apologize in person.” Carolann accepted the apology, calling Bieber, “an accountability queen.”
Carolann’s TikToks also feature the youngest Kardashian-Jenner sister, and she begins her comments by making a derisive sound that I’ll attempt to spell as “pffffffft.” Ranking Jenner “two out of ten,” Carolann says, “She was fine, but she tipped twenty dollars on a $500 dinner bill.” Jenner is, famously, (maybe) a billionaire.
“This is another one where I unfortunately did not have the best experience with them,” Carolann says in her second video about celebrity interactions. “She used to come in all the time and was pretty cold towards staff. She also usually has someone speak for her and doesn’t speak directly to staff. I’m gonna give her the benefit of the doubt and say she’s just shy?” she says, rating her behavior four out of ten.
In a series of TikTok videos, a user named Cindy rated celebrities who she says she interacted with as an employee at Los Angeles International Airport. Nicki Minaj got a 2/10 because, Cindy claims, the rapper “wouldn’t get off the aircraft until everyone else got off, which she can’t do because the flight attendants need to get off.”
Kylie Jenner (again)
Like Carolann, Cindy rated Jenner 2/10, saying she “wasn’t really friendly” and “really arrogant.”