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Home » 20 popular culture moments from 2021 we have not stopped enthusiastic about

20 popular culture moments from 2021 we have not stopped enthusiastic about


Simply once we all thought nothing might outdo 2020’s dramatic twists and turns, alongside got here 2021. There have been scandals, tragedies, high-profile interviews, break-ups and make-ups, memes and milestones—and, we don’t know the way, however Seth Rogen, Pete Davidson and Ben Affleck appeared to be concerned in nearly every part.

This 12 months additionally noticed the passing of leisure heavyweights like Stephen Sondheim, Norm MacDonald, Charlie Watts, Christopher Plummer, Cicely Tyson and DMX. However there was trigger for celebration, too from the return of in-person pink carpets to just a little Spider-Man film to stunning revelations and severe allegations.

Right here’s a rundown of probably the most memorable popular culture moments from 2021 that we’re nonetheless enthusiastic about.

Amanda Gorman & Bernie Sanders on the U.S. presidential inauguration

January noticed Joe Biden sworn in because the forty sixth President of the USA of America. The star-studded ceremony featured many acquainted faces nevertheless it was former Nationwide Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, studying her poem “The Hill We Climb”, who stole the present. Her poise, her expertise, and even her eager vogue sense acquired worldwide consideration, and it led to her reaching best-seller standing, an expert administration contract, and a profile in TIME written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The inauguration additionally blessed us with a socially-distanced Bernie Sanders, his parka and hand-made mittens. Inside minutes, the picture (by photographer Brendan Smialowski) was trending and memes, Snapchat filters, parody accounts and even an App quickly adopted. That’s the way you kick off a 12 months. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get actual with Oprah

In March, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down for his or her very first post-royal life interview and so they had lots to say about their time with the Windsors—little or no of it good. Harry talked candidly about his strained relationship along with his father and brother, Meghan revealed she had suicidal ideas, and collectively they dropped the bombshell that somebody within the palace had raised “issues” about how darkish their son Archie’s pores and skin might be. That exact revelation made international headlines, sparking necessary conversations round psychological well being and the royal household’s colonial previous.

Chloé Zhao and Beyoncé make historical past

After profitable two extra Grammys in March, Queen B turned probably the most adorned singer within the historical past of the awards, with a complete of 28 wins over her 20-year profession. Then in April, filmmaker Chloé Zhao turned the primary girl of color (and solely the second girl, full cease) to win the Oscar for Greatest Director for her movie Nomadland.

The One The place the Mates Reunited

We travelled again to Central Perk in Might, as HBO Max gave audiences the reunion they’d been breathlessly awaiting after a number of delays. The ‘90s nostalgia was dialed as much as pre-Y2K ranges as Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc took to the stage for Mates: The Reunion (stream now on Crave). There have been superstar friends, desk reads of favorite scenes, and sure, even a vogue present. The highly-anticipated present had all of it, together with large reveals like Aniston and Schwimmer having mutual crushes occurring throughout manufacturing however by no means letting on and Aniston even admitting later the the present was so emotional, she needed to stroll off-set a number of instances. May the reunion have been any extra beloved?

Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka champion psychological well being 

These two superb athletes sparked a global dialog this 12 months round stress, expectation and psychological well being in sports activities after sharing their private struggles. Biles, probably the most adorned American gymnast of all time, withdrew from the group ultimate on the Tokyo Olympics, stating that she wasn’t in the best psychological area to compete safely. Biles was one in every of over 150 girls and ladies who had been abused by former group physician Larry Nassar and teafully advised Hoda Kotb throughout an interview on the As we speak Present that the results had been long-lasting; “I don’t assume individuals perceive the magnitude of what I’m going by means of.”

Osaka equally put her psychological well being first and withdrew from the French Open after the group refused to exempt her from post-match press conferences. The highest-ranked tennis participant defined in an Instagram put up that she’d been battling anxiousness and melancholy since her 2018 U.S. Open win. Biles and Osaka despatched a transparent message to the world that psychological well being is as necessary as bodily well being and there is no disgrace in prioritzing it, incomes reward for utilizing their large platforms to amplify the dialog.

Armie Hammer scandal

In January, leaked DMs between Hammer and an unidentified girl confirmed him saying he needed to “drink her blood” and admitting to being “100% a cannibal” and different girls quickly got here ahead with related claims about his penchant for rape fantasies and darkish sexual preferences that additionally included sexual abuse allegations. Vainness Truthful printed a damning function entitled “The Fall of Armie Hammer” that lined the following fallout and the darker legacy of a household fraught with problematic behaviour. He had a number of films already within the can when the information broke however was let go from all of his upcoming tasks, his company dropped him and he entered a rehab facility in Might for medication, alcohol and intercourse points. 

Sony teases Spider-man: No Approach Dwelling

Followers of the pleasant neighbourhood web-head had been ready (considerably patiently) for a primary have a look at Peter Parker’s newest chapter. Given the cliffhanger on the finish of the final movie, you may’t blame them for being just a little wanting to get a peek. After an apparently legit trailer was leaked in late August, Sony launched the actual factor a day later. In its first 24 hours, the preview earned 355.5 million views, setting a brand new document and greater than doubling the views for its predecessor. The remainder of the web was simply as excited, as chatter across the trailer made it the most important one-day social media dialog in historical past, with 4.5 million mentions, eclipsing the document set a number of years in the past by Avengers: Endgame. With nice cinematic energy comes intense social scrutiny.


After an unpleasant, 13-year-long court docket battle, Britney Spears was lastly free of her authorized conservatorship. Her struggle for autonomy gained worldwide consideration, as did her devoted, vocal fanbase. The hashtag #FreeBritney trended all year long as supporters campaigned, marched, and even created merch to attract consideration to her authorized struggles., which intensified after the New York Occasions’ doc, Framing Britney Spears introduced her trigger into the highlight. Britney herself even acquired in on the fan help, sporting one of many shirts in an Instagram Story posted by her fiance Sam Asghari, the day earlier than the ultimate listening to. “I simply need my life again,” Spears acknowledged as a part of her June testimony and by November, she had it.


Lil Nas X’s bloody footwear

The rapper was all over the place this 12 months, releasing a kids’s ebook, dropping a brand new album, partnering with Elton John in adverts, making the TIME100 checklist and, again in March, releasing his personal footwear. His “Devil Footwear”, a restricted version model of Nike Air Max 97s featured within the promotion for his first 2021 single “Montero (Name Me By Your Identify),” prompted a stir. The 666 pairs of sneakers had been black and pink, with a bronze pentagram, 60cc and 1 drop of human blood, and a price ticket of $1,018. Mother and father had been apoplectic and one politician State-side went as far as to tweet that the discharge of the footwear meant we had been “in a struggle for the soul of our nation.” Nike even filed a trademark lawsuit towards the MSCHF and denied any involvement with the creation of the footwear. Lil Nas X took to Twitter to level out that skating legend Tony Hawk’s blood-infused skateboards didn’t provoke the identical response. Not that there’s any unhealthy blood (we couldn’t resist) between the 2 creators—they even went skateboarding collectively in August to show every part was a-okay. You possibly can say lots in regards to the musician, however he’s a savvy self-marketer.


Olivia Rodrigo makes 2021 her personal

The 18-year-old singer kicked off the 12 months along with her single “Driver’s License”, which went viral nearly instantly, occurring to be streamed over a billion instances. She adopted that up with the discharge of her debut album, Bitter, in Might. With lyrics filled with relatable teen angst, the previous Disney Channel star made unfamiliar music followers sit up and take discover of her apparent abilities—and a dramatic adolescent love triangle on the centre of all of it definitely did not damage. She was the It lady of a wild 12 months, even turning up on the White Home to assist Joe Biden promote vaccines for younger adults. When you by some means missed all of that, you’ve nonetheless acquired time to leap on the bandwagon of this proficient teen, who’s been in comparison with Taylor Swift and even had the wherewithal to provide Swift a writing credit score on Bitter for her inspiration.

Dave Chappelle faces backlash after Netflix particular

The controversial comedy icon launched The Nearer this previous October and the response to his new Netflix particular was instantaneous and unfavorable. Trans advocates had been vocal of their criticism of his feedback in regards to the transgender group, which they noticed as dangerous and reductive, and Netflix workers, different comedians and even college students at his former highschool rose up in solidarity with them. The truth that the comic had come out in help of J.Ok. Rowling’s latest feedback conflating gender with intercourse didn’t assist issues. The particular reignited the controversy on boundaries inside comedy, with many pointing to the thought of “punching up” vs. “punching down” and determine who and what are honest comedy targets. Regardless of the wave of condemnation, the comic refused to again down, posting a 5-minute Instagram video response that included the assertion: “I mentioned what I mentioned”.

Lizzo and Chris Evans: A DM Love Story

Fingers up in case you’ve made questionable selections after one too many? Okay, so Lizzo isn’t alone and we love that she determined to shoot her shot by sliding into Captain America’s DMs. One of the best half? His response (full with emojis): “No disgrace in a drunk DM ???? god is aware of I’ve completed worse on this app lol ????????” Lizzo documented the entire encounter in two hilarious TikToks, advising “Don’t drink and DM, youngsters!” She could have some extent however however, Evans is now following her on Instagram so she got here out forward on this recreation. To cite the Nice One: “You miss 100% of the pictures you do not take.” Needs for 2022: For these two to get collectively IRL.




Squid Sport is every part

We’ll by no means see “Crimson Gentle, Inexperienced Gentle” the identical manner once more. One of the standard reveals of the 12 months was South Korean import Squid Sport—everyone watched—and it shortly turned Netflix’s most streamed present by a landslide. There have been debates across the dubbing/translation of the present, complete teams devoted to dissecting the ending, and bets across the varied outrageous challenges, with some courageous/misguided viewers making an attempt some themselves and posting their outcomes on social. When you weren’t streaming or posting in regards to the present itself, you had been studying about it, watching YouTube extras, SNL parodies, designing your Squid Sport Halloween costume and following the solid on Instagram.



Taylor Swift breaks the web…once more

The singer/songwriter launched a highly-anticipated 10-minute model of “All Too Nicely” in November, full with a brief movie written, directed by and that includes the mega-star, together with Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. This heart-breaking quantity returned to remind us all that nobody breaks Taylor Swift’s coronary heart and will get away with it. The entire thing was in help of a re-release of her album Crimson (Taylor’s Model) and the brief movie gave Swifties sufficient Easter eggs and clues to maintain them occupied till the nexy momentous launch.

The Rust taking pictures

In a 12 months of seemingly infinite unhealthy information, the tragedy of the on-set taking pictures that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins lifeless and director Joel Souza in hospital, nonetheless shocked. Film units are presupposed to be secure, well-regulated areas so how did a dwell spherical find yourself in Alec Baldwin’s prop gun on the set of indie Western Rust? That’s the query police are nonetheless trying to reply. It’s not the primary time on-set firearms have led to fatalities however the October accident has many, together with Baldwin, calling for a rise in gun security guidelines in movie and tv manufacturing with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson going as far as to say he was banning all actual weapons from his film productions going ahead.

Astroworld tragedy

Travis Scott’s annual Astroworld live performance in Houston turned tragic in November when a crowd surge led to 10 deaths and a whole bunch of injured concertgoers. Town’s police chief had expressed security issues previous to the occasion’s kick-off however his warnings went unheeded and the present continued at the same time as music followers had been crushed and trampled. Scott himself was criticized for encouraging rowdy crowds and for persevering with to carry out amid the hazard, with movies uploaded by members of the gang exhibiting the chaos on the bottom. Scott denies being the villain of the occasion, explaining to Charlamagne Tha God that “I’ve proven by means of actions that is not my character.”  Over 140 lawsuits have been filed and Scott has denied all authorized legal responsibility.

The Return of Bennifer

JLo made headlines when she cut up from fiance Alex Rodriguez, however these had been nothing in comparison with the notices she acquired when the world came upon she had rekindled a romance with Ben Affleck. Affleck had gone by means of his personal break-up with Ana de Armas (and her cardboard cut-out) and the timing simply appeared proper. This was no secret romance, with the couple going public because of a really epic sequence of pap-worthy PDA periods. From basketball video games to walks in L.A. and from the Met gala to Cannes, you couldn’t miss these two even in case you tried and so they’re nonetheless going sturdy. What is going to 2022 maintain for Bennifer 2.0? Solely time will inform.

Adele drops and offers us 30

In October, iconic landmarks the world over had been noticed with the quantity 30 on them. Astute music followers instantly started to invest {that a} new album from the one and solely Adele was on the way in which, given the artist’s tendency to call her releases after her age. She confirmed the information not lengthy after, sharing that 30 would deal primarily along with her latest divorce, and the ensuing turbulence. The primary single “Simple on Me” broke all types of streaming information (and launched a thousand situations of individuals saying she didn’t go straightforward on us) and the album itself shortly turned the top-selling launch of 2021. An intimate interview with Oprah adopted after which we had been all handled to celeb-filled one-night-only particular (Hello Seth Rogen!). After we weren’t busy watching and rewatching that, we had been belting out our favorite tunes and questioning simply how lengthy we’ll have to attend for Adele’s subsequent album.

The Bachelor scandal

After casting its first Black lead, Matt James, The Bachelor franchise almost imploded with accusations of racism and problematic behaviour from host Chris Harrison and one of many actuality present’s front-runners. Halfway by means of the season, images of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell attending an ante-bellum fraternity celebration emerged together with claims of previous racially-motivated bullying. #BachelorNation was appalled, however host Harrison got here to Kirkconnell’s defence in a cringe-worthy interview with Further’s Rachel Lindsay. Each Kirkconnell and Harrison got here out with subsequent apologies nevertheless it was too little, too late. Michelle Younger, one of many season’s different contestants posted a press release on behalf of the 25 BIPOC girls featured in Season 25, condemning Harrison’s defence of their fellow contestant and supporting Lindsay’s name for accountability and transparency from the manufacturing. In the long run, Harrison exited the present, Matt picked Rachael (after which they broke up, after which acquired again collectively) and followers turned their ideas to the brand new season of The Bachelorette. Right here’s hoping the teachings discovered received’t be forgotten.

BEFORE YOU GO: Ben Affleck reveals what his daughter mentioned after studying ‘The Tender Bar’ script


[video_embed id=’2343761′]BEFORE YOU GO: Ben Affleck reveals what his daughter mentioned after studying ‘The Tender Bar’ script [/video_embed]


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