Drama Detectives: Is the Met Gala Even Fun?

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“It was like a crazy countdown to when [I] could escape,” says one former Met Gala attendee.

Next Monday night, a stampede of fashion models, Victoria Secret models and Instagram models will ascend the Metropolitan Museum of Art stairs into New York’s most glamorous soirée: The Met Gala. Affectionately known as both “the party of the year” and “an A.T.M for the Met,” Anna Wintour’s annual art fundraiser is where the who’s who of fashion flex theme-adhering designer garb, then attempt to comfortably sit down, eat dinner and get drunk. It’s the Oscars of the East Coast—except, you know, nobody takes home a career-changing statue, and everyone leaves wishing they wore the same thing as Rihanna.

It sounds like the kind of party any person—famous or normal—who be delighted to attend, right? Well, I hate to be the one to pop your Beyonce- in-a-pom-pom-plastic-gown-sized bubble, but per last year’s report from Page Six, the whole thing really isn’t that fun. According to an extremely credible Hollywood handler, the evening is pretty much the Mean Girls of galas: it’s “tedious,” “boring,” and “not that much of an enjoyable evening.”

However, like all responsible tabloid readers, I use my discretion when glancing over Page Six headlines. How much could a party that costs $30,000 USD per ticket really suck? With this question in mind, I set out to do a little investigation. I might not be headed to the Met on Monday, but thanks to the Internet, I have a pretty good idea whether or not I’d have a good time.

The Testimonies

Amy Schumer 

  • “It felt like a punishment,” the Schumer told Howard Stern in an interview, after attending the 2016 gala. “I left not the second I could. I left earlier than I should have been allowed.”

Gwyneth Paltrow

  • In 2013, Paltrow boldly declared: “I’m never going again. It was so un-fun. It was boiling. It was too crowded. I did not enjoy it at all.”

Tina Fey 

  • Fey suggested that Letterman “drink contact-lens fluid” before attending the gala. “It is such a jerk parade. If you had a million arms and all the people you would punch in the whole world, they’re all there.”

Lena Dunham 

  • In a since-deleted essay for her Lenny newsletter, Dunham wrote: “It was like a crazy countdown to when [I] could escape.”

Demi Lovato 

  •  “I had a terrible experience,” Lovato told Billboard in a 2018 profile, “This one celebrity was a complete bitch and was miserable to be around. It was very cliquey. I remember being so uncomfortable that I wanted to drink.”

The Evidence

The time celebs smoked cigarettes in the lady’s room

  • Being a rebel is super cool… until you get caught. At the 2017 gala, a group of renegade celebs—including Bella Hadid, Marc Jacobs and Dakota Johnson—turned the art gallery’s bathroom into a designated smoking area, sharing images of themselves breaking the law all over social media. Museum donors were quick to express their outrage, and the city’s health commissioner sent a strongly worded letter expressing her anger. Public shaming is not a good time.

The time Jay-Z and Solange fought in the elevator 

  • Back in 2014, footage surfaced from inside a Met Gala after-party elevator that showed Solange hitting and kicking Jay-Z. What did Jay-Z do to infuriate his sister-in-law to the point of physical violence? What kind of high-stress environment leads to this kind of family-on-family attack? (Though, to be fair, I’ve been on sibling hikes through peaceful mountains that have resulted in tears and bruises.)

The time Reese Witherspoon got drunk

  • In a viral video circa 2014’s Met Gala, Hollywood’s favourite Southern Belle tries—and fails—to pronounce Cara Delevingne’s name. “I don’t know what your fucking name is,” she slurs, before offering the supermodel a bit of advice. “The most important thing about a name, for a girl, is that a man can whisper it in his pillow.” I’ll just say this: I would pay a lot of money to be insulted by a drunk Reese Witherspoon.

The time everyone took a selfie

  • Anna Wintour has banned cell phones from her ultra-chic event, but when you’re a Kardashian/Jenner/friend of a Kardashian/Jenner, you don’t have to follow the rules. Bathroom selfies have become a sort of Met Gala tradition amongst the elite event’s most elite. And while breaking the rules is fun and all, imagine being the *regular* person who walks in to take a pee and is met by a crowd of Instagram superstars. Very cliquey! Very intimidating!

The time Madonna performed 

  • A party that’s also an intimate Madonna concert? I mean, I could just avoid the bathroom all night…

The Verdict

The entire social occasion—from the outfit scrutiny to the potential Kardashian run-in—sounds extremely stressful. That said, Anna Wintour if you’re reading this, I would happily accept an invitation.