2023 has been the year for celebrity divorces, according to major entertainment portals. And among them, the separation of Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner was the most talked about. The couple had separated after 4 years of a marriage that looked perfect to their fans, which instantly sent them reeling. What is interesting to see about this discourse is the way the media has reacted to, and how it has been used by either party. Also interesting to see is how consumers of said media have interpreted this wild ‘coverage’ of the Jonas-Turner split.
Given how content-hungry people are online, the celeb obsessed section of them ate up the news with much zeal. Care for misinformation was thrown out the window, and the hype of the news became a tiff between Jonas fans and feminist voices. Jonas’s lawsuit mentioned that the couple’s kids had been living with him for some time, while Turner was shooting for a project in the UK. This turned into subtle image-smearing campaign for the Jonas side of social media, who were hinting that Turner was not being a good mother.
In response to this, the women of social media woke up, and were quick to shut down the rumor mill. For the entirety of the judicial proceedings of the divorce and custody arrangements, Jonas did not denounce the online hate that Turner was receiving. A source told news outlets that he had apparently witnessed or heard something about her via his Ring camera, that made him choose divorce as the way forward. This and the fact that Turner was working during the duration of the Jonas Brothers tour led to the claims of her being the bad side of the relationship.
What most people don’t realize is how deeply interconnected Hollywood media and celebrities are. They are crucial to each other’s survival. These entertainment sites dish out latest stories on the public and private lives of celebrities – the latter of which they’re not entitled to. They keep the audience hungry for more, which in turn keeps celebrities in conversation. The media has sadly, disregarded privacy of celebrities for the sake of more reads and interactions, which is exactly what it did in the Jonas-Turner split as well. It is entirely possible that the estranged couple is truly amicable with each other, as they show their strong support for their kids – but that is not exciting enough scoop for the media.
Notorious news portal TMZ was the root cause in spreading said information. A source told them that the two had very different lifestyles, and that Turner “likes to party.” A bunch of news outlets like these had sources revealing information about her to them, which only spurred the ‘bad girl’ image of Turner to the world. Meanwhile, there are no popular claims of Sophie dismissing these claims. She never had to, in the first place.
Turner has, in turn, chosen silence as her defense. Her only engagements in public discourse is through her lawsuit. She filed a lawsuit against Jonas claiming her kids were “detained” by him, saying that her kids were being kept from meeting her in the UK. The majority of the public has surprisingly been in awe of her, as she refrained from responding to any comments made public by Jonas’s much talked about counsel. Turner did not have to do a lot of talking to silence haters. All of this was during her fight to keep her children with her, and very few have talked about this aspect of her in the midst of this divorce.
The media is key to a celebrity’s survival in the spotlight. How they’re portrayed by the media is how they’re seen by the public. So it becomes priority for these people to manage their public lives in the best way possible, so that the right image of them sticks with their admirers. This image management is exactly what Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner have been banking on, as their ‘partner’ persona has now ceased to exist. It has been apparent in Jonas’s statements, that he has made it a point to paint his now ex-wife as an incompetent mother. Had he been supportive of her, he wouldn’t have told a crowd of thousands to not believe anything other than what comes out of his mouth.
On the other hand, Turner was out and about with Taylor Swift, when the rumor mills were running at peak capacity. Swift has also offered her New York apartment to Turner, where she could stay with her children for the duration of the divorce proceedings. This move turned the crowds to her favor – if you’re hanging out with Taylor Swift, and the Taylor Swift has opened up her place to you, you can’t be in the wrong. Taylor and Joe Jonas were in a relationship many moons ago, and it was treated just as that by Turner. People loved her for not creating unnecessary baggage with her husband’s former lover.
Recently, the media touted Jonas “enjoying” himself with unidentified women on a yacht holiday, after reaching an agreement with Turner about their kids’ custody. Some news headlines made it a point to highlight the women part. The wording of news paints a particular kind of image. Here, Jonas is made to look like a man on a hard-earned holiday, including his time with the women. Had the opposite been with Turner, and the same wording had been used, she would have been touted as a sleaze.
We might perhaps never truly realize the actual depth of the dark hole that celebrity media is. Despite them pursuing a career they truly want, celebrities have to sell a part of them to the media once they attain that status. They are made to seem liable for commenting on every possible thing in the world, and have the whole world looking at them when they do the most monotonous of human acts as possible. This woke generation of today has to be on the lookout for how either party is using them to forward ideas to their audiences. Because in today’s world, if word comes from a celebrity, people take its weight to be in gold.