Fans defend Jennifer Aniston from backlash to coronavirus-themed Christmas ornament
Jennifer Aniston sparked a debate on social media after sharing a photo of a Christmas ornament that many thought made light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The "Friends" actress, 51, took to her Instagram Stories on Christmas Day to share a new ornament for her Christmas tree. The photo showed her holding a wooden circle with the words "our first pandemic 2020" carved into it in elegant text.
However, given that spikes in COVID-19 cases have forced many to stay home this holiday season and skip celebrating with family as they normally would, some found the ornament a little tasteless given the circumstances.
"Just because u like a celebrity, doesn’t mean u should not hold them accountable. I’m sorry but that’s so insensitive to put an ornament saying "pandemic 2020". Innocent lives were lost because of this pandemic. We’re not going to celebrate this s---. Do better Jennifer Aniston," one user wrote.
"What Jennifer Aniston (whether the ornament is hers or not but it was posted in her IG) did was tasteless. Whoever made that ornament is an idiot and the opposite of empathy," another user said in response to someone saying they were over "rich people."
"Jennifer Aniston is a damn fool for posting that ornament on her story... celebrities are ditzy af," another person wrote.
However, while many people felt that the ornament was insensitive given the current climate the country finds itself in with coronavirus infections, many were quick to rush to the star’s defense. A handful noted that Aniston has been using her platform to advocate for both small businesses impacted by the pandemic as well as to encourage her followers to wear a mask to help curtail its spread.
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"so we’re cancelling jennifer aniston for a harmless christmas ornament? lord have mercy can y’all grinches go somewhere else," one user wrote.
"honestly that Jennifer Aniston ornament was peak satire and y’all just don’t get it," someone else added.
"If you’re upset about Jennifer Aniston’s ornament Instagram story - let’s not forget how she plugged small businesses to try to help them in a hard time, and urges people to wear masks in pretty much every post she makes.... #jenniferaniston," a fan said.
"jen aniston was one of the few celebrities that used her platform to ask people to support small businesses all around the US during christmas eve (while others were busy posting their fancy dinners) and she really got hate over ONE ornament? what??" someone else added.
In July, Aniston shared a personal story of a friend who dealt with COVID-19 in an effort to encourage her followers to wear a mask and take the illness seriously.
RELATED: LA County reports 29,464 new COVID-19 cases from Christmas Day and Dec. 26
"This is our friend Kevin. Perfectly healthy, not one underlying health issue. This is Covid. This is real," the star began her caption. "We can't be so naive to think we can outrun this...if we want this to end, and we do, right? The one step we can take is PLEASE #wearadamnmask."
She concluded her post by encouraging her fans to think about their own friends and family at this time to try and inspire them to mask up and fight the virus.
As of Dec. 22, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 77,432,103 people across 191 countries and territories, resulting in at least 1,704,065 deaths. In the U.S., all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, tallying more than 18,042,120 illnesses and at least 319,457 deaths.