Skepticism

Starsuckers: The BS of PR

On Friday I tweeted a recommendation for people to check out the documentary Starsuckers, which is available for free online for those in the UK via Channel 4’s web site (just for the next month or so).

The doc takes an amusing look at our celebrity-obsessed culture, and how corporations use that obsession to sell to us. The filmmakers recorded themselves selling made-up celebrity tips to tabloids to see if any bothered with fact-checking (they didn’t: surprise!). One of the tips was about one of the girls in Girls Aloud (a brainless pop machine) secretly loving astrophysics.

The filmmakers also showed a PR agent arranging a fake protest against his real beauty queen client. She laughingly posed in front of them as photographers clicked away, and then they broke an egg over her head as she giggled and then tottered off. The press that followed described a distraught beauty queen tormented by evil lesbian feminazis.

The DVD is available April 12. For those not in the UK, I found a few clips on YouTube. Here’s a clip showing the tip-selling:

And the trailer:

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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5 Comments

  1. I watched this after your recommendation and also found it funny, though I was more than a little disturbed over how that six year old child actor was treated.

    Nick Davies was interviewed in it, and if anyone hasn’t read his book “Flat Earth News”, you should.

  2. hopefully someone will put up a torrent of this somewhere as it seems really interesting. The tabloid culture over here isn’t quite as bad as in the UK, but we have just as much celebrity obsession. It makes me want to vomit how much people care about this nonsense and look to these people’s experiences as proxies for their own boring lives.

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