*Fashion critic André Leon Talley has added his voice to the chorus of critics taking aim at Barack Obama for hosting a birthday party amid the COVID pandemic.
Tally compares Barack and Michelle Obama to infamous French queen Marie-Antoinette in a political op-ed piece in the NY Times, written by Maureen Dowd.
“I think the nouveaux riches Obamas are seriously tone-deaf,” said Talley, as reported by MTO. “We all love Beyoncé. But people have so many things to worry about with Covid, voting rights, climate warming. People are afraid of being evicted from their homes. And the Obamas are in Marie-Antoinette, tacky, let-them-eat-cake mode. They need to remember their humble roots.”
Barack Obama gave a big, lavish, new-money party at his sprawling mansion on the water because he wanted to seem cool. Being cool is important to him.
One difference is that Gatsby opened his house to the uninvited. Obama closed his house to many of the invited after getting flak for hosting “a celebrity mosh pit,” as Stephen Colbert called it, while officials were telling people to mask back up.
It’s hard to stop thinking about the over-the-top fete the former president held at his Martha’s Vineyard manse for his 60th birthday. It is such a perfect taxonomy of the Obama arc.
You can read Dowd’s full NY Times piece here.
The Obamas throwing a party for a milestone birthday
André Leon Talley showing up in the Sex and the City movie holding a Louis Vuitton case emblazoned with his name so we’d all know it was him?
Ok, Ms. Antoinette pic.twitter.com/fjAMCyMrAl
— 🌊 #RIDINWITHBIDEN (@JenOLoughlin) August 14, 2021
We previously reported, the Obamas planned a COVID-safe outdoor party last weekend and allegedly required vaccine testing for all guests.
“The Obamas are hosting a party to celebrate President Obama’s 60th birthday with family, friends, and former staff,” a source told PEOPLE ahead of the bash.
“This outdoor event was planned months ago in accordance with all public health guidelines and with COVID safeguards in place,” said Hannah Hankins, a spokeswoman for the Obamas. “Due to the new spread of the Delta variant over the past week, the President and Mrs. Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends.”
“He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon,” Hankins added in her statement.
Barack asked that instead of gifts, guests make a donation to the Obama Foundation.
“In lieu of gifts, guests are being asked to consider giving to programs that work to support boys and young men of color and their families here at home in the United States, empower adolescent girls around the world, and equip the next generation of emerging community leaders including the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the Girls Opportunity Alliance, or the Obama Foundation’s Global Leadership programs,” a source told PEOPLE.