A certain crop of famous people originally branded with a decidedly "wholesome" image have said and done some unfathomably strange and unsavory things in recent memory: Lick donuts at bakeries while simultaneously denouncing America, drag-race Lamborghinis down public streets whilst intoxicated — the list goes on. Two decades ago, celebs in the '90s did all of that, too — it just went over with the general public more easily than it does now, because, thanks to the lack of social media, it was less widely-disseminated. Fortunately, bad behavior today usually comes to light more reliably than ever due to technology, which holds everyone, both celebrities and private citizens, accountable for their actions in the same regard.
Leonardo DiCaprio is a perfect example of this: His post-Titanic debauchery in the 1990s was an era very strategically covered by the press. When the cameras rolled, there were YM interviews and the sort of Tiger Beat "what's-your-favorite-ice-cream-flavor" wholesomeness that the teen idol machine spits out in large numbers. Behind the scenes, however, DiCaprio reportedly dominated New York City nightlife with his so-called "Pussy Posse," which consisted mostly fellow young actors intent on utilizing all the perks of their newfound fame. It's hard to imagine that kind of behavior happening without consequence today, and the lack of Twitter back then isn't the only reason why. Today, as a society, we tend to want everything from our celebrities — a consistent body of work, candid interviews, an interactive social media presence — and when we don't get what we want, we turn on a dime, even on once-beloved stars.
No one is immune, either. From Beyonce's veganism to Taylor Swift's dating habits, the tiniest details of a celebrity's lives can suddenly become polarizing in the presence of large fan bases. Anything taken out-of-context or off-the-record is fair game nowadays, and the probability of putting your foot in your mouth when you're a celebrity today is nearly 100%.
That said, it was way worse in the '90s. Here are seven celeb quotes from that decade that just wouldn't cut it in 2015.
1. “Girls don’t really hit on me, no. I think if a girl wants to talk to me, she’ll talk to somebody around me, but not me directly. I don’t know what it is. They never really approach me.” — Leonardo DiCaprio, to Vanity Fair in 1998
No comment necessary about the man who's dated, at last count, so many famous women that there's basically an app about it.
2. "You're a sick f*ck. [...] You can't get through a show without talking about me. Or thinking about me." — Madonna, to David Letterman on The Late Show
Can you imagine if Gaga went on Jimmy Fallon and said, "It's so creepy how you can quote all of my lyrics"? Or if Mariah Carey did Kimmel and actually asked, "Why you so obsessed with me?" Arrogance doesn't go over well in a cultural landscape where our most-beloved celebrities, from Jennifer Lawrence to Tina Fey, are revered in part for being self-deprecating.
3. "I haven't really had to change her diapers yet. We have a nanny to do that. I'm just teaching her how to cuss and flip people off." — Kurt Cobain, to VH1
In a post-recession age when 1%-conscious celebrities won't even admit that they have any "help" whatsoever, Cobain's comments to VH1 in September 1992 surely would've gotten skewered by today's media, who are quick to disseminate seemingly sarcastic quotes out of context and call foul on any matter related to celebrity babies.
4. "Then, we got high and went to SNL. After that, I did heroin for a couple of months." — Courtney Love, to Vanity Fair
Courtney Love has made so many outrageous (and admittedly sometimes brilliant) statements in the past, but this one will follow her to grave after it was recently dug up after it came to life that Love was pregnant at the time, according to The Huffington Post.
5. "You’re young, you’re drunk, you’re in bed, you have knives; sh*t happens." - Angelina Jolie, to the Chicago Sun-Times about scars from her teenage years
Add this to the blood vial-wearing, brother-kissing incarnation of Jolie known in the '90s, and it's impossible to imagine this happening in present day without resulting in some sort of intervention followed by a massive foot-in-mouth publicity campaign.
6. "They said Margaret Thatcher was the sixth Spice Girl... So f*ck Margaret Thatcher, and f*ck the Spice Girls." — Jarvis Cocker, at the 1997 NME Awards
If this has happened in 2015, the offending incident would have its own Twitter hashtag and trend worldwide in minutes.
And finally, this exchange between the Spice Girls and Rolling Stone circa 1997 when the group was asked "whether Hillary [Clinton] has girl power:"
"Who's Hillary?" asks Mel B."Oh, who gives a f*ck?" says Mel C. "I mean, about the Clintons. Who gives a f*ck?""Who gives a f*ck?" echoes Victoria. "But has he got any sons?"
How has this not come back to haunt all five of them yet?
It's safe to say that these stars would've had a lot more to defend had Tumblr been around in 1996.
Images: Giphy (7)