Miley Cyrus has been doing her best to connect with fans during this uncertain time, but she also knows how much her experience of the current coronavirus pandemic differs from that of most people. In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Miley Cyrus opened up about her celebrity privilege and the coronavirus pandemic. And she admitted that her "unique position" means she'll never really know what things are like for the average American right now.
While the singer did acknowledge that her own projects have been put on hold due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Cyrus explained that her experience in self-isolation has been relatively easy. "I know I'm in a unique position, and my experience with this pandemic is not like most everyone else's in my country and around the world," Cyrus explained. "My life has been pushed pause on, but really I have no idea what this pandemic is like."
She continued, "I am comfortable in my space and able to put food on my table and [I am] financially stable, and that's just not the story for a lot of people." Due to her privilege as a celebrity — and the fact that her quarantine experience is relatively cushy compared to many people — Cyrus was hesitant about filming her Instagram Live series, Bright Minded, and interviewing some of her famous friends on the platform.
On Bright Minded, which is currently on hiatus, Cyrus has done her best to balance conversations with stars like Selena Gomez, Hilary Duff and Ellen DeGeneres with segments celebrating people and organizations working to help people affected by the pandemic, in order to prevent the show from feeling out-of-touch. Still, the singer noted that several A-Listers have also been hesitant about appearing on the show, likely due to their own concerns about the situation.
"I'm sure some people I was reaching out to felt the same way I do, which is that my experience is so rare, it almost doesn't feel right to talk about," Cyrus said, adding that some of the celebrities she approached about being guests never responded to her DMs. "I'm sure a lot of the hesitation for other people saying yes to doing the show is because it almost doesn't feel right for celebrities to share our experience. Because it just doesn't compare."
Gomez — who appeared on Bright Minded in early April — told the Wall Street Journal that she thinks Cyrus' awareness her situation is what has made the series so successful. "I happened to catch it one day and loved what she was doing and knew I wanted to be a guest. I liked the rawness of the show," the singer explained. "I feel like people are yearning for that type of realism right now. Not something overly produced."
During Gomez's appearance on the show, Cyrus revealed that the current situation actually helped her reconnect with her old friend. "I’m just really happy that we did this new DM. It was very sweet because you just sent a butterfly emoji," Cyrus explained. "And that’s enough. Connecting with people and letting them know that you’re there. A butterfly emoji is totally enough."
Cyrus' quarantine experience may be vastly different from most people's, but by focusing on things like reaching out to others and dealing with mental illness, she's managed to create a deeply relatable show nonetheless.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC or NHS 111 in the UK for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.