Here Are All The Celebs Who Have Been Let Into Australia While Most Citizens Can’t Come Home
Imagine if we stopped prioritising celebrities over citizens? Crazy, I know.
In case you missed it, Katie Hopkins has officially left Australia, after her visa was cancelled for quarantine breaches.
Seven Network flew the right-wing commentator down to Australia for Big Brother VIP, but Hopkins was sent right back to the UK once her two-week hotel quarantine stay was complete.
Hopkins’ visa was cancelled after she bragged about flouting quarantine safety protocols on Instagram, where she shared that she was “lying in wait” to answer her door naked and maskless in an attempt to “frighten the shit” out of quarantine workers.
There was major uproar to Hopkins blatant disregard for the health and safety of hotel workers, and petitions were made calling for the right-wing troll’s deportation.
I've had many low points in this pandemic but the Katie Hopkins bullshit has left me in a white hot rage. It shows our government's naked contempt for every Australian separated from family by closed international borders. Our citizenship is worth nothing. This country is broken.
— Jill Stark (@jillastark) July 17, 2021
In response to her selfish actions, Seven booted Hopkins from Big Brother VIP and Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews was “very pleased” to announce that Hopkins’ visa had been cancelled. Yesterday evening, Katie Hopkins was put on a flight back to the UK.
However, even though Australia had successfully removed the woman who once compared migrants to cockroaches, people had a lot of questions as to why Hopkins was granted a travel exemption to enter Australia in the first place.
While Andrews says that the state government asserted there was “economic benefit” to allowing Hopkins into the country, letting the right-wing commentator into Australia while around 34,000 Australians are still stuck overseas is a slap in the face to those affected by international arrival limits.
So, here are all the international celebrities who have been allowed into Australia because they were deemed important enough to jump the queue in front of citizens just wanting to come home:
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Caitlyn Jenner is currently in a quarantine hotel in Sydney and is tipped to star in Channel 7’s celebrity Big Brother spin-off. According to The Advertiser, Jenner is set to be paid around $500,000 for her appearance on the show.
Despite being only two months from her run for governor, the fat paycheque was apparently enough to lure the former Olympian back to reality TV. However, the 71-year-old has confirmed that while she’s in Australia her “campaign team is in full operation, as am I”.
“I am in this race to win for California because it is worth fighting for,” Jenner tweeted this weekend from quarantine. TMZ also reports that Jenner only plans to stay in the country for three weeks to ensure she can make it back to the US in time for the election.
The “essential reason” they’re here: To film Big Brother VIP.
Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen
Taika Waititi, Christian Bale, Russell Crowe and Sacha Baron Cohen in Australia dinner party. pic.twitter.com/WFgcZsntoV
— EMPEROR BOSS (@GodEmperorBoss) May 4, 2021
Aussie Isla Fischer “temporarily relocated” her family back to Australia at the tail end of 2020, likely seeking out a quieter life for her and her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen.
“I feel like I can be myself in Australia,” she told Marie Claire. “I love the people. I love the colours and the sights and the taste and the smells. And there’s something about being home which is just… it feels very magical. I miss it so much when I’m away.”
When the couple arrived in Sydney, they enrolled their three children into a top Sydney school, hinting that the Fisher-Cohen family is likely going to be here for a while.
The “essential reason” they’re here: Relocating to Australia.
So nice that Hollywood celebs get to enjoy Sydney Harbour during lockdown. Had no idea Natalie Portman and Sacha Baron Cohen were from one household…
Meanwhile, police deploy 100 more officers to south-west Sydney to ensure compliance with rules.https://t.co/D1Bq6ZErO5
— Frances Mao (@francesmao) July 8, 2021
Natalie Portman has been in Sydney filming for Thor: Love and Thunder since November 2020.
But despite filming on the latest Thor installment wrapping up in June, Portman and her family seem to still be in Australia according to recent paparazzi photos. In fact, Portman was even spotted house-hunting at a property just outside of Sydney in May.
While temporarily residing in Australia, Portman has been criticised for socialising with fellow actors during lockdown. In particular, Portman copped heat for going on a “boating trip” with Sacha Baron Cohen instead of just her immediate household.
The issue? While American celebs were allowed to explore the harbour together, South-West Sydney residents had to deal with the government deploying extra police to ensure they were complying with the rules Portman and Cohen clearly weren’t following.
The “essential reason” they’re here: Filming Thor: Love and Thunder, boat trips, and house-hunting.
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In March, Julia Roberts flew her family to Sydney via private jet and underwent quarantine in a private home instead of at a designated quarantine hotel. The Daily Telegraph reported that Nicole Kidman offered her “personal security team” to help Roberts with the process of moving to Australia.
While she’s not been spotted since arriving, Julia Roberts is in Australia to film Gaslit, a political thriller about the Watergate scandal. Roberts is also said to be in town to film romcom Ticket to Paradise, alongside George Clooney, in the Whitsundays this year. The film has received $6.4 million from the government as part of the Location Incentive Program.
Unlike Katie Hopkins’ visa grant that was approved based on the idea of “economic benefit”, Ticket to Paradise is actually expected to bring $47 million to the local economy and generate 270 jobs.
The “essential reason” they’re here: To film Gaslit and Ticket to Paradise.
Neil Patrick Harris
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There are rumours swirling that Neil Patrick Harris will be joining Caitlyn Jenner in the Big Brother VIP house after his judging gig for Australia’s Got Talent was cancelled while he was in his two-week quarantine.
As Sydney’s COVID-19 restrictions ramped up, Channel 7 decided to can AGT in favour of more celebrity Big Brother episodes. However, after the talent show’s cancellation was announced, Neil Patrick Harris celebrated his 48th birthday in quarantine with his family and then immediately flew back to the US.
It’s speculated that Harris has since flown back to Australia to undergo quarantine again, but his latest Instagram posts show that he’s currently still just hanging with his family in New York.
The “essential reason” they’re here: Potentially back for Big Brother VIP.
Forget The Celebs, Let Aussies Back Home
Aside from the celebrities currently in the country, many other stars have been in and out of Australia for different projects.
In reality TV land, Lord Alan Sugar was granted entry into Australia to film Celebrity Apprentice, and Rita Ora was around for months for The Voice AU.
In music, Ed Sheeran decided to do his two weeks of mandatory quarantine so he could perform at Michael Gudinski’s memorial service, while Idris Elba casually performed on stage with Lime Cordiale when in town to film Three Thousand Years of Longing.
Hell, even Zac Efron was just winding back in Byron Bay for months before he decided to pick up a few new local projects to make the most of his time.
Thanks to the government’s $400 million Location Incentive that hoped to boost foreign expenditure and create new jobs for locals, A-List actors had no problem making Australia home as they filmed their projects.
Some of the world’s best actors like Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Pratt, Jenna Dewan, Paul Mescal, Liam Neeson, Luke Evans, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Tilda Swinton, Mark Wahlberg, Awkwafina, Simu Liu, and Matt Damon were all granted permission to enter Australia to work.
But the issue here isn’t that celebrities are being let into Australia for “economic benefit” — the issue is that Australian citizens can’t return home because the Australian government is prioritising money, and giving networks whatever they want before thinking about the very real lives of Australians who are desperate to come home.
So 5th rate "celebrities" Caitlin Jenner and the odious Katie Hopkins can fly here for a shitfer-brains TV show…while Australians are banned from coming home. How fucked is that ?
— Mike Carlton (@MikeCarlton01) July 17, 2021
Caitlyn Jenner has arrived in Australia for Big Brother today. WTF? Australians can’t get home but celebs can come and go as they please. #moneytalks.
— Hank Meyer 🇦🇺 (@HankMeyerNAPP) July 16, 2021
A new low. British far-right commentator Katie Hopkins – banned from Twitter for hateful conduct – has made it to Sydney. Meanwhile, thousands of Australian families are separated from their loved ones overseas.
— Mehreen Faruqi (@MehreenFaruqi) July 17, 2021
To let Julia Roberts into Australia to boost the economy with two blockbuster films is one thing. But to let a racist bigot like Katie Hopkins jump the queue in the hopes that Channel 7 boosts their ratings from Hopkins spitting vitriol is a whole other story — and a very clear indication of how little the government cares about its people.