Help! I'm in a parasocial relationship with Julia Fox, and it's ruining my life.
Just kidding. Sort of.
I genuinely like Fox. At the very least, I like her as much as people can "like" any public figure they don't know personally.
Fox is reformed New York City party girl, a former dominatrix, a self-described "muse," a shameless self-promoter, the wearer of many iconic outfits — she's glamorous and a little rough around the edges, self-assured and confident in an un-alienating way. In interviews, she's honest to an almost unflattering extent.
In many ways, she's a refreshing antidote to the disingenuous influencer, the hyper-polished A-list starlet.
When news broke that Fox was dating Kanye West, I was surprised — Ye's notoriety far outstrips Fox's — yet completely unsurprised. The coupling of two artists whose work so often blurs the line between public and private kind of just made sense.
For a while, I lapped up the paparazzi photos, the tabloid headlines, and the juicy interviews.
Good for her, I thought of her ascent from Manhattan scene-ster to indie film starlet to worldwide celebrity.
But I started to question things when Fox sat down for a second tell-all with Interview magazine, which seems to have secured a bi-weekly series on the actor's date nights with Ye, cleverly titled "Fox News."
When asked what she sees as her "destiny right now," Fox said: "Right now, the vibes I’m getting are very much about tolerance, kindness, and love. I’m canceling cancel culture and putting an end to this black-and-white thinking."
The cancel culture comment was weird, but I read on.
"People shouldn’t be defined by their darkest moment," she continued. "As humans, we commit violence to each other, we police each other. We’ve created such a hostile environment, especially on the internet."
But Fox's rhetoric quickly unraveled when she recounted spending a night schmoozing and watching Zola with Ye, Marilyn Manson, Dave Chappelle, Naomi Campbell, Cam'ron, Jack Donoghue, Andrew Richardson, and "the actor from the new Batman" (ostensibly Robert Pattinson?).
As Fox described the bizarre evening, her friend Richie Shazam, a model and photographer, "ate sashimi with Marilyn Manson and they had a really nice heart-to-heart."
I've already written about Ye's entirely problematic relationship with Manson, who faces lawsuits from multiple women alleging physical and sexual abuse.
That said, I refuse to skewer Fox for her boyfriend's wrongs. Whomever she dates is her choice, and how Ye conducts himself doesn't reflect on her.
But I will question Fox's casual name-drop of Manson, someone who has allegedly abused a slew of women over the course of his career.
Manson didn't fall victim to a decades-old tweet, a controversial joke, or something equally as unimportant. Manson allegedly raped, whipped, attacked, and psychologically abused multiple exes.
Refusing to support someone whose actions are (allegedly) as reprehensible as that isn't "cancel culture" or "black-and-white thinking" — it's holding people accountable.
Just days before Ye and Fox went public with their relationship, the Uncut Gems star posted a series of Instagram Stories slamming her ex for being a "deadbeat dad," a tirade that extended into a call-out of irresponsible, toxic men in general.
As admirably "zero fucks given" as the rant initially felt, it now rings hollow.
Why would Fox so unashamedly admit to associating with someone accused of such extreme violence? And why would she go so far as to imply he shouldn't be defined by his "darkest moment?"
The rumor mill has speculated that Fox's relationship with Ye is some sort of performance, a "gotcha!" that's ostensibly a comment on fame and our own relationship to the cult of celebrity.
Interestingly, Fox stated in her latest interview that she's "a really good candidate for this position," perhaps signaling this whole mess is just a charade. Given the tie-in with Interview, a publication founded by the ultimate cultural commentator, Andy Warhol, the idea that Fox is simply playing Ye's girlfriend isn't so farfetched.
For Fox's own sake, I can only hope it's an act.