Over the past month, Brad Pitt’s crisis management team has been doing a lot to convince people that Pitt and Emily Ratajkowski are happening. It has often felt that Pitt’s team is doing this with Emily’s consent, regardless of whether Brad and Emily are actually seeing each other, it’s like she’s totally fine with the stories. If Emily was just a regular celebrity who ignored the rumors, her silence on Pitt’s abuse of his wife and children would be one thing. But Emily has made it her “brand” as a celebrity to engage with and deconstruct sexism and misogyny in pop culture. Her silence on Pitt has become extremely notable as more time passes, given that she thinks nothing of name-checking Adam Levine and other celebrities. Well, Emily has a new podcast (High Low with EmRata) and she chatted with Variety about it. Wouldn’t you know, she “sidesteps” the issue of Brad Pitt. Some highlights.
On Britney Spears: “She’s gone through things that affect you for the rest of your life, and she has this public stage where we will continue to watch her. It just makes me sad. And the way people are like, ‘Come on, you’re a mother!’ has really fascinated me. It’s Britney Spears! I’m sure she has a very complicated relationship to being sexualized. But she’s now doing it on her own terms. So why are we ripping her apart for that and bringing into the conversation that she’s a mother? I don’t know why we hate women so much. It still shocks me all the time.”
On Joe Rogan: “Obviously I don’t agree with his politics but there’s something there that really works. If you’re listening to somebody talk and the interviewer feels like they aren’t following the conversation in the way that a listener is, then it’s just not interesting — and Joe Rogan does listen. He has a perspective and he asks questions that are aligned with that perspective, and it’s entertaining.”
On Adam Levine sliding into models’ DMs: “I’m very familiar with those kinds of power dynamics between men and women, and I saw another moment where we were choosing to attack a young woman instead of the powerful man, which I didn’t love.” In response, she posted a pair of TikToks explaining her perspective, which have since racked up 4 million views. “It wasn’t honestly about Adam Levine. I just responded to this woman talking about how women need to change and adjust as preparation for men’s behavior, which is something I’ve been talking and writing about for a long time. Like, this ‘Boys will be boys’ attitude that women have? We have to do better.”
The Brad Pitt question: “I have a generally complicated relationship to the internet as a celebrity,” she admits. It’s still strange for her to be the subject of rabid tabloid culture that follows her every move, as she’s recently been amid breathless reports that she might, maybe?, be dating Brad Pitt — a subject she expertly sidesteps when it arises. “One of the things I write about in the last essay of the book is about control and kind of understanding that one of the best ways to actually be happy and have some semblance of control is letting go,” she says. “I’m newly single for basically the first time in my life ever, and I just feel like I’m kind of enjoying the freedom of not being super worried about how I’m being perceived.”
A comeback season for men: “#MeToo happened, and the majority of the conversation was still, ‘You better be careful out there!’ I guess there’s some accountability now, but I don’t think there’s a lot of empathy or deep understanding of women’s positions in the world.” If anything, she says wryly, “it feels like men are in their comeback season.”
“Kind of understanding that one of the best ways to actually be happy and have some semblance of control is letting go…” So she’ll be completely direct about Joe Rogan, Adam Levine, Marilyn Monroe, Me Too abusers, but when it comes to a powerful and well-documented child abuser and domestic abuser using her name for sexual and cultural clout, she’s silent as the grave. What a disappointment, honestly. Emily is in a unique position – since it’s literally happening to her personally – to deconstruct this mess. She’s choosing not to. Again, it’s not a lack of awareness on her part, she’s perfectly aware of what Pitt is doing and how he’s using her name. She’s just not going to say sh-t about it.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.