This is our fault. We did this to ourselves. At some point we’re going to have to take responsibility for ourselves as a country and accept the premise that it is, in fact, a shit hole ruled by oligarchs, grifters, charlatans, and DJs with Marshmello heads, and hopefully, commit to making the changes necessary to rectify that. Otherwise, all is lost. Even if Forbes’ Celebrity 100: The World’s Highest Paid Celebrities list is a dubious distinction, we have to admit that even if their formula is about as scientifically sound as the teachings of Dianetics, it does say a lot about what we value as a culture. And right now it’s saying we value Kylie Jenner the most. She earned $560 million. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but 2020 will do strange things to a person—Taylor Swift was ROBBED! Last year’s #1 dropped to #25 ($63.5M) and Kanye West scooted into Kylie’s former #2 slot with $170M.
Here’s how Forbes decides how much a celebrity “earned.”
The list ranks “front of the camera” stars around the globe using pretax earnings from June 2019 through May 2020 before deducting fees for managers, lawyers and agents. Figures are based on information from Nielsen Music/MRC Data, Pollstar, IMDB, NPD BookScan and ComScore as well as interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves.
Unfortunately, the inflated value of celebrity is primarily an American problem. Ignoring a handful of professional athletes (like #3 Roger Federer, $106.3M and #4 Cristiano Ronaldo, $105M) and the odd musician (#91 Paul McCartney, $37M, #73 Celine Dion, $42M), 58 of the 100 richest celebrities are American. Some of them are even men! In fact, Kylie’s the only woman who made the top 10 which includes Tyler Perry ( #6, $97M), Howard Stern (#8, $90M), and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (#10, $87.5).
In fact, women are so worthless, Forbes had a little break out section addressing how few female actors made the list.
A dozen actors and actresses earned a combined $624 million this year, but Hollywood’s earning elite remains a boys club. This year’s list has just two actresses: Sofia Vergara, who earned half from endorsements and licensing, and Angelina Jolie, who slips on at No. 99.
Even though she tried to play a nice person on TV for decades, I guess Ellen DeDeneres isn’t technically an actress anymore. She came in at #12 with $84 million. Also proving that nice guys finish last are professional troll Rush Limbaugh (#11, $85M), Not A Doctor Dr. Phil McGraw (#22 $65.5), pussy police chief J.K. Rowling (#28, $60M), allegedly reformed hate crime enthusiast Mark Wahlberg (#33, $58), and destroyer of lungs everywhere, The Chainsmokers came in at #21 with $68M COVID-bucks.
You can find the entire list here. There are a couple of people who won’t make you want to give up everything to go live off-the-grid in a yurt. Rihanna (#60, $46M) is still getting paid and received a special commendation from Forbes for her generous charitable contributions toward COVID relief organizations. But for the most part, it’s a bleak exercise in over-valued mediocrity. With that in mind, to Ben Affleck, sitting pretty at #37 with $55M, we salute you!