Following the death of Amy Winehouse there was a renewed interest in her career as she joined the infamous 27 club alongside the likes of Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison. However since details emerged in a toxicology report that Winehouse on the night of her death had stayed clean and perhaps had turned a corner, a global wave of irrational anger among former fans and youngsters has erupted, furious that she stopped taking drugs in her final days. Called the 'Winehouse Effect', this global youth rebellion is unpredictable and vicious, spreading like wildfire and seems to be now targeting rehabs and any clean living celebrities.
Some nervous celebrities in order to pacify this movement, have cynically joined in the global condemnation of Winehouse for fooling her fans in her final days. Detox champion Russell Brand has gone into hiding in the Hollywood Hills following death threats. Rehabs and detox centres popular with celebrities have evacuated following incidents in LA and Thailand. Justin Bieber has been reported missing, a victim to mobs in LA who feel enough of wholesome celebrities and a statement on twitter is due to announced soon as to his whereabouts. Will the Winehouse fallout be the spark that leads to riots across the globe last seen in 1968? Has the world of celebrity changed forever?
Angry fans since yesterday in cities across the world turned on their idol, and begun burning merchandise and albums alongside effigies of Winehouse, in scenes not seen in many places since Michael Jackson was discovered to be black. Even in placid Tokyo where the young tend to keep within the law have rampaged through the streets of trendy Harajuku, screaming Winehouse was a fake. Several JPop stars have been taken hostage and Justin Bieber fans are also being targeted. The police are now in running battles and the Emperor of Japan has condemned the family of Winehouse, for encouraging her to even go into rehab.
So why have her fans turned so quickly and why are they angry? Cultural commentators feel that the volatile young of today have high expectations and morals, and even the most loyal will turn on their idols if they feel that have been let down. Most supported Winehouse because she looked close to an overdose on drugs, and they thought at last they could have their own Kurt Cobain; they were growing tired of hearing smug peers reminiscing about when he died. After they had invested all this time in her career, they had utter faith that they would be rewarded with the payoff; to spend weeks mourning Winehouse's untimely death and be able to tell their own children with pride, where they were when she died. But everything they believed collapsed in the last few days.
These Winehouse fans are in utter shock, finding out she had a cup of warm milk and read a book the night she died, and is the biggest slap in their spotty faces. The Winehouse effect has seen these youths going on the rampage wanting revenge and they will not rest until celebrities understand the clear message; we buy your melancholy music, you give us your life and pretty corpse. Steer from the winning formula at your peril.
In London a city already nervous following recent riots, teens and 20 somethings gathered in Camden, where Winehouse lived, wanting to destroy Amy's house brick by brick until angry residents convinced them to go to the Hawley Arms pub where she used to drink. One fan, aged 14, who seemed to be the ring leader, said along with all of her school friends they had sacrificed a week of their summer, happily crying for the cameras, eating and sleeping on the streets outside Winehouse's as they mourned their fallen hero. In a comment which seemed to get universal approval from the mob, "We could have been listening to Justin Bieber as he is now more dangerous than Amy, knowing she wasn't off her head at the time of her death." Menacingly they added, "we the world's youth don't want any more Bieber's."
The crowd then turned their anger towards celebrity friends and mentors of Winehouse who encouraged her to get clean, going from pub to pub in the hope to teach them a lesson, with Kelly Osborne being at the top of the list. Unable to find any celebs they then turned on any skinny jean wearers who were not drinking or drugging. Luckily many celeb residents of Camden are away for the end of the summer but these vigilante tactics have led to many celebrities fleeing other parts of London. The Priory in Surrey is currently surrounded by angry teens demanding the head of the chief detoxer on a plate and the celebrities to be put into their care.
Events in LA have shown the vulnerability of the celebrity elite and the global repercussions of WInehouse effect. In Malibu thousands of angry youths focussed their anger on the Promises rehab centre which treats many celebrity addicts. Staff members were taken hostage until they promised to undo the 'promises' of the centre and to never help another celebrity get clean. Frightened celebrities gathered on the roof and in scenes similar to the fall of Saigon, waited to be airlifted out with military helicopters. The Promises was soon after brunt to the ground. Other rehab places in the US are now under armed guard to hold off on similar copy cat attacks.
All film projects in the city have been suspended until calm is restored. Kate Perry has been surrounded for several hours in a restaurant by a baying mob asking her to tweet the location of Russell Brand who went into hiding somewhere in LA; whilst an English singer was set upon in Santa Monica, confused for Brand. Rumours spread that Brand was heading for the Mexican border and teens in Tijuana and beyond have said they will deal with him if he dare enters their country or city. Justin Bieber has not been seen since his house was ransacked earlier in the day; did he get away or is something more sinister about to be revealed?
Obama has sent his wife Michelle to LA to see if she can talk some sense into these teens and young adults. Charlie Sheen meanwhile has tweeted his support for the kids and that will pay for any of their legal fees which has led to him being seen as hero of the movement.
Obama and Cameron have had emergency talks predicting further unrest, are pressuring the family of Winehouse along with other celebrities to think of a strategy to calm the situation.
Thailand saw similar scenes as teen fans went for the exclusive rehab centres, that are used by rich Western clientele. Many had to flee still with their face masks on, some using elephants and anything else they could find to escape. These scenes are being repeated across the globe, Paris, Sydney and Mumbai.
Nervous celebrities have been busy tweeting in an effort to avoid being future targets of the mob saying how they would never in a million years cheat their fans and get clean.