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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam - A Raya light

May 11, 2021
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One of the reasons we’re able to have so much fun at the expense of the rich and famous here in this space is the fact that they live fundamentally different lives than the rest of us. That separation leaves them existing in a bubble that removes them from the everyday human experience. That isn’t in and of itself a bad thing – and it’s part of the package, whether they want it to be or not – but with relatively few exceptions, wealth and celebrity tend to make people a bit weird.

For instance, the muggles among us may have just recently been reintroduced to the existence of an app called Raya, which began life as a dating app back in 2015 before eventually adding other professional networking aspects. It’s an exclusive thing, where you can only join if you’re recommended by someone who’s already onboard and then can get through some sort of vetting process; apparently, the acceptance rate for applicants is something like eight percent.

But when you start venturing into the realm of exclusivity, well … it turns out that even the famous folks among us can suffer the consequences of being weird online.

Actors Ben Affleck and Matthew Perry both found themselves in the spotlight recently thanks to recordings of their (separate) interactions on the app being released into the world.

We’ll start with Affleck. Last week, a TikTok user named Nivine Jay posted a video that Affleck allegedly sent her. Apparently, the actress/podcaster/influencer was matched with Affleck on Raya and assumed that she was being catfished, so she unmatched. Affleck followed up by sending her a video on Instagram asking about why she did so.

Jay posted the video on TikTok with this caption:

“Thinking of the time I matched with Ben Affleck on raya and thought it was fake so I unmatched him and he sent me a video on Instagram.”

Not long afterward, we got another glimpse at a thirsty celebrity shooting his shot when a woman named Kate Haralson posted a clip of a Raya-inspired Facetime conversation with Perry. The actual conversation took place last May, when the then-19 Haralson was matched with the “Friends” star. Apparently, there was some get-to-know-you stuff that Haralson makes clear was not sexual in nature, though she was uncomfortable with the idea of engaging with “someone my dad’s age.”

Haralson was inspired to post when she saw Jay post the Affleck video. She also says that she has been removed from the app after the posting.

(And in case you wanted to know what Chrissie Tiegen thinks about the whole thing, well – she took to the internet to let everyone know that, in her opinion, everybody in this whole situation is wrong.)

You know, it feels weird to say, but … we’re going to have to side with Chrissie Tiegen on this one.

Look, is it a little creepy that Batman and Chandler Bing are out there on secretive dating apps trying to hook up with women less than half their ages? Sure it is. And there’s no disputing that there’s an uneven power dynamic in play in these situations.

But should these videos – ostensibly intended to be private – have been shared to the wider internet? Probably not. There’s a whiff of clout chasing about it, an attempt to gain attention by embarrassing a couple of famous dudes for being horny.

Granted, while everyone has an ostensible expectation of privacy, these famous guys have to be aware that everything they put out into the world has a chance to go viral. That’s just the nature of things these days. If you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to see it, don’t put it on the internet.

As for the existence of something like Raya, well … we probably shouldn’t be surprised. There are always going to be those who are drawn to exclusivity. The smaller the club, the more they want to join. Why should dating apps be any different? Although the truth is that that sort of attitude just sounds exhausting to us. That’s probably why we’re not rich and famous.

We’re not really Slamming anyone here. What would be the point? We’re just making sure that you folks are aware of this whole scene. And come on – could this story BE any more weird?

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 May 2021 09:36

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