The Motley News

The Middle Class Doesn’t Get Celebrity Riders


Jennifer Lopez aka “J. Lo” aka “Jenny from the Block” got sacked recently, as being the performer for India’s Premier League Cricket Tournament, in favor of rapper, Pitbull. Why? Because she’s crazy, that’s all.

Did you know that there’s such a thing as a “celebrity rider?” This person, insures that a celebrity has really awesome, completely ridiculous things in their dressing room to make them happy. First of all, I didn’t know that was a job title. Second of all, I feel bad for that person. Third of all, what the fuck? I want a “rider!”

But back to J. Lo. Her usual request includes all things white in her dressing room. White couches, white rugs, white candles, WHITE FOODS?? (fish and fruits). Don’t you want some psychoanalyst to talk to her? I do!

Apparently, the people of the cricket tournament didn’t feel like dealing with her requests. But as I continued my search for what a rider was, I found that Lopez didn’t even scratch the surface of craziness:

  •  Iggy Pop– Bob Hope impersonator and a copy of USA Today newspaper with a story about morbidly obese people in it.
  •  Van Halen– A bowl of M&M’s (NO BROWN ONE!) and a large bottle of KY jelly.
  • Mariah Carey– 20 white kittens, 100 doves and 75 degree temperature. (what happens to the animals when she’s done with them?)
  • Cher– An entire wig room. (I’ll let that one go because, duh, it’s fuckin’ Cher!)

The offensive:

  • Katy Perry– Chauffeurs are not allowed to start conversations with her nor are they allow to stare at her through the rearview mirror.
  • M.I.A.— A couple of extras, 20-25 yrs old, dancing in full on burkas. WHY??
  • Kanye West– All chauffeurs must wear cotton clothing, no man-made fibers.

Yes, I feel really good about giving these performers my money. So good. As a country, we are in the middle of a sequester that will make us count our pocket change a little more. And then we have these “demi-gods” taking our money in the form of concert tickets and album sales. They can’t even pretend to be regular people for one minute of their lives?

It’s a ridiculous reminder that there’s a problem with class in our country that we’re still unable to talk about. I doubt anyone’s surprised or even indignant about the list above because it’s expected. In the U.S., where most live hand to mouth, there is still a large amount of people who aren’t bothered by the current wealth distribution.

 It can even be argued that these celebrities “earned” the right to be extravagant. They “worked” hard for what they have. Well, I’m sure some of them did work really hard to make their dreams come true, but doesn’t it make you uncomfortable that ultimately, their success means poverty for someone else? Doesn’t it make you uncomfortable to know that their “work” is more valued than a elementary school teacher, a construction worker, a small business owner or even a lowly poet (who creates art just like they do)?

The value of people’s professions has long been unbalanced in this nation. Athletes, actors, musicians, the people that basically entertain us are taking a free ride through life while the rest of us work our asses off just to stay afloat. And just to rub salt in our wounds, Kanye West demands that working class driver find a completely cotton suit to make Kanye more comfortable. To that I must reply as resounding: “Fuck that noise.” Does the driver have to buy those clothes himself? Is Kanye going to check the driver’s neck tag for the cotton content?

Personally, I don’t like rewarding bad behavior. I don’t like to support people who couldn’t possibly identify with me, who lack such a basic understanding in empathy, that I can’t even make conversation with them as I drive them to their venue. Ask yourself how much money you have to throw at these people, especially when your own life is getting more and more precarious.

Author: charishreid

Writer and Educator.

3 thoughts on “The Middle Class Doesn’t Get Celebrity Riders

  1. 20 white kittens?! That's insane. This article reminds me of the movie “Daddy's Girls” when Gabrielle Union's character told Idris Alba's character not to speak to her while he was driving her around. She was a big shot lawyer and could not be bothered in the beginning. There is a difference between needing things to perform your job and being a diva lol


  2. I know right?! I liked that movie a lot. It played on the common trope of “uptight woman relaxes around working class guy. Romance and hilarity ensue!” The little girls stole the show though.


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