Red Carpets Already Practice Social Distancing

Mon. March 23, 2020 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Red carpet events in Chicago were just revving up when the COVID-19 took the world by storm.

During the 11th Annual Rookie Fashion Show, kids of many big named celebrities came out to walk the runway in an important fundraiser at Morgan Manufacturing. It occured while Chicago was turned upside down the weekend of the NBA All Star game. The annual event helps the James R. Jordan Foundation that serves youth in the area that are underserved.

What was impressive is watching the young people handle themselves professionally, such as Sean "Puffy" Combs's daughters and the featured singer JD McCrary, who some will know from the recent live action Lion King movie and OWN's The Paynes.

He stopped to talk about how he wants people to appreciate his music and to not underestimate the youth of today. He handled himself better than some big names, which promises for a brighter future.

Some artists take it seriously and some just want to entertain like Robert Downey, Jr. He usually makes jokes, as you can imagine.

Speaking of juniors, the DuSable Museum of African American History held a recent red carpet for TIME Studios new VR exhibit The March featuring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Big names like Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon walked the red carpet to answer questions. When one photographer continued taking photos after being requested not to, their rep cut my interview. I had interviewed them previously and Davis did say hi, but unfortunately no quotes from them.

Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon did say this at the carpet, "We think of the "I have a dream" speech as The Gettysburg Address in history. No one knew how it was going to go, although there had been a lot of victories. Whether it is LGBT people or people that care about climate change, it's important to remember Martin Luther King was an ordinary person who decided to not take "no" for an answer. When we face problems we need to go in with that determination. There's no training for it. You learn as you go. You have to put yourself on the line for it."

While the exhibit is currently put on hold, I will say I have followed her advice with covering red carpets over the years. I have learned with each event on how to handle myself better.

Carpets are not the time to get into a deep a conversation. I loved making people like Davis laugh over the years, while getting a quick quote that sometimes can be important in an article.

Last year, singer Janelle Monae talked to me about coming out while at a red carpet and the talented Cynthai Erivo talked about fashion instead of the movie she was promoting. You never know and it's a mixed bag usually. Be prepared for anything, be professional and be respectful to other people's boundaries. That's how to be asked back for another celebrity occasion.

The roped off area keeps people from getting too close and will most likely be even more important in the future. We shall see!


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