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Alia Bhatt joins 'Blockout 2024' list of celebrities under fire | The Express Tribune

After turning heads at the Met Gala on May 6 in a stunning sari by Sabyasachi, Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt has now attracted public scrutiny for her silence on the atrocities being carried out in Gaza. According to Hindustan Times, the Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani star is now on the Blockout 2024 list of celebrities being blocked by their former fans for not speaking out against Israel.

Despite being featured on the blockout list, Bhatt followed up her Met Gala appearance with another international outing: the Gucci Cruise Show in London on May 13. With its display of glitz and glamour amid the backdrop of a bombing campaign in Rafah, the Met Gala, labelled “the literal Hunger Games” by disillusioned social media users, proved to be the catalyst that kickstarted Operation Blockout 2024.

The movement, propelled by social media users, targets celebrities who have not used their voices to condemn the ongoing genocide in Palestine that has led to the deaths of thousands of civilians. By blocking the accounts of celebrities and influencers – and therefore asking algorithms not to display any of their social media content – users have essentially boycotted a number of famous faces.

“It’s time to block all the celebrities, influencers and wealthy socialites who are not using their resources to help those in dire need,” said one TikTok user following the Met Gala in a desperate bid to get justice for Palestinians. “We gave them their platforms. It’s time to take it back, take our views away, our likes, our comments, our money, by blocking them on all social media and digital platforms. We sentence you to the digitine.”

Blockout 2024, or the ‘digital guillotine’, as it was initially introduced, has gained traction since it began on TikTok this month. Lists of celebrities to be blocked are being circulated globally amongst social media users on a variety of platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook. Bhatt joins heavyweights such as Taylor Swift, Priyanka Chopra, Beyoncé, Virat Kohli, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Zendaya, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Zac Efron, Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas, and Justin Timberlake, amongst others.

Whilst there is a large number of celebrities being publicly condemned for their silence, there is also a small minority who have been vocal about their stance, risking their careers in the process. Hollywood actors such as Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, John Cusack, and Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan are among those who have actively spoken out against the military assault being carried out by Israel. To display their solidarity with Palestine, a number of celebrities donned an Artists4ceasefire pin at prominent events, such as the Academy Awards.

Earlier in the year, singer-songwriter Annie Lennox praised actor Mark Ruffalo for wearing an Artists4ceasefire pin. Posting on her Instagram, Lennox captioned, “There has been a resounding ‘silence’ from the artists and acting community. People are afraid to speak publicly on this issue. But I find it hard to understand why calling for ceasefire and peace could ever be the wrong thing to do. Ultimately this situation MUST find a peaceful solution, otherwise it will continue until everyone and everything in Gaza is wiped out.”

For now, the careers of celebrities on the blockout list continue to remain unaffected, but the love their fans carried for them may have taken a hit for good.

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