On Sunday, a Los Angeles model named Kelleth Cuthbert photobombed dozens of celebrities while handing out FIJI water bottles on the 2019 Golden Globes red carpet. The internet was quick to celebrate her assumed brazenness, but we knew better—the woman was probably fulfilling instructions laid forth by a not great, mineral-y water brand to ensure free, viral fame. In other twords: she was spon con, y’all! I’m happy to report one of the many famous people she photobombed, Jamie Lee Curtis, agrees, and has gone on the record about it.
The actor shared a photo of the photobomb on Instagram and described the brand’s “blatant promotion” in the caption:
“So, my husband, who doesn’t look at a lot of show business news sites, just mentioned that I was on the CNN website. I specifically moved away from the blatant promotions by Fiji and Moet where young women with their trays filled with their wares stood near a designated camera. I knew why there was a photographer poised there and I moved away as I said out loud that I didn’t want to be doing advertising for either. Clearly this angle shows that I moved from her being behind me and yet from the side it still happens. The sponsors of events need to get permission from people when they get them to take their picture next to products.”
While I reserve my empathy for literally anyone else who needs it and not the mega famous and wealthy, I’m delighted to see we’re both on the right side of history despite different motives. (No actor should be forced into shilling a product for free, especially one they themselves might not use or believe in, but the real danger here is a dishonest move by a multi-million dollar corporation and the lay people they profit on fooling.) FIJI made headlines, including this one, for a well thought out publicity stunt just so normie-adjacent, it registered to most viewers like a delightful gag by a young hopeful looking for her fifteen minutes of fame. In reality, it was just another big brand looking to exploit your naivety for free ad time. Kudos to Curtis for pointing it out.