These days, it’s not unusual to spot internet creators among the celebrities and journalists on the red carpet at some of Hollywood’s biggest events.

But as awards season wraps up, several viral exchanges between a handful of influencers and A-list stars have prompted some people online to ask: Why are influencers getting tapped for these events in the first place?

“It’s very clear to me that a lot of the influencers that are getting these opportunities have not done their homework and are just winging it,” Franchesca Ramsey, a TV writer and former YouTuber, said in a recent TikTok video responding to the discourse.

The discussion came to a head last month after the People’s Choice Awards, where “Barbie” actress America Ferrera appeared to be startled by TikToker Harry Daniels on the red carpet. Some online called his bit — in which he asked people to choose between “having a gay son or thot daughter” — disrespectful. A representative for Daniels said the creator is “grateful” for the carpet opportunities he’s given, but declined to comment further on the video. A representative for Ferrera did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The following weekend, creator Juju Green, better known as Straw Hat Goofy online, garnered backlash after referencing the popular “when your card declines at therapy” meme in a video from the Film Independent Spirit Awards carpet where he recorded “Killers of the Flower Moon” star Lily Gladstone. The video has since been removed from TikTok, but many stitched it in their own critical responses. Green and a representative for Gladstone did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Some industry experts say the criticism should not be surrounding whether creators are qualified to be at these events. Instead, the focus should be on whether those sending out the invites are selecting the right creators for the job.

“I think selection of the right creator starts with understanding,” said Brandon Lentino, head of creative, content and experiential at influencer marketing and talent agency Viral Nation. “What do they do? What kind of content do they create that lends us or any marketer to believe they can handle this red carpet or this moment with poise?”

Creators have become an integral part of film, television and music marketing. Brands and studios regularly enlist them to interview celebrities and artists for social media content. They can be paid thousands of dollars by studios to help promote projects, according to a recent Business Insider report.

But “gatekeepers” in Hollywood are “looking at numbers, and not at actual talent and skills,” according to Ramsey, noting that having a lot of followers on a social media platform doesn’t translate to being well equipped to interview people on a red carpet.

Ramsey, who posted her video after the response to Green’s carpet mishap, said she was able to grow her career in traditional entertainment after she won a YouTube and People magazine contest in 2008 to interview celebrities at the Emmys. However, she said that it’s vital for creators to be prepared before taking on such a role.

“It does more harm than good to their careers if they’re not prepared, but also the perception of influencers as a whole [is] damaged when you pluck them out and you throw them on this big platform and they’re clearly not ready,” Ramsey, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, said in her video.

Those behind the scenes have said there’s a strong argument for enlisting creators, as they have their built-in audiences that can help generate more interest in Hollywood events.

“Creators are part of the evolution of red carpet coverage and they bring their personal brands to their interviews,” Jeremy Lowe, vice president of talent and partnerships at Dick Clark Productions, said in an email interview.

The company, which is behind events like the Golden Globes, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and the American Music Awards, has a “dedicated team working in-tandem” with creators that it taps for carpet coverage, Lowe said.

“And if we aren’t directly producing the content, we meet with the creator ahead of time to hear what they have in mind for their coverage,” Lowe said.

DCP has noticed celebrities and audiences like seeing popular creators conduct interviews on the carpet.

When Amelia Dimoldenberg, creator of the YouTube interview series “Chicken Shop Date,” hosted the 2023 Golden Globes red carpet, her interviews became instant hits on social media. Her flirty exchange with actor Andrew Garfield also made headlines.

Amelia Dimoldenberg interviews Andrew Garfield on the Golden Globes carpet in 2023.
Amelia Dimoldenberg interviews Andrew Garfield on the Golden Globes carpet in 2023.Amelia Dimoldenberg / YouTube

Lowe said Dimoldenberg brings “flair to her red carpet interviews, resulting in content and celebrity engagement that you wouldn’t get from a typical media interview.”

Dimoldenberg declined to comment.

For the 2024 Golden Globes, DCP enlisted Recess Therapy — a brand known for videos featuring kids giving advice. Its content amassed 50 million video views across Instagram and TikTok within its first 72 hours on the platforms, according to Lowe.

Meanwhile, Dimoldenberg’s popularity caught the Motion Picture Academy’s attention. The organization behind the Oscars tapped Dimoldenberg to be a “social media ambassador and red carpet correspondent” at the 2024 Academy Awards, which take place on March 10.

“I’m also really excited to do something original and put my own stamp on the Oscars, to create some really amazing moments and deliver some amazing interviews — some groundbreaking pop culture journalism is incoming!” Dimoldenberg said in a recent interview posted to the Oscars website. “I hope so anyway.”

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