Actor Miles Teller is courting controversy in both pop culture and the field of public health at this very precise time in history.
Why is Teller’s new “I Bet You Think About Me” music video, which was directed by Blake Lively and features the Whiplash, Divergent, and Taylor Swift actors, trending? Why is his name appearing in chats on Twitter and in the real world? In reality, there are a number of them, which are listed here in roughly chronological sequence.
First, the Hollywood set of The Offer, the upcoming Paramount+ television series about the creation of The Godfather, was virtually shut down when Teller tested positive for COVID-19 in September.
Teller was unvaccinated and had rejected a COVID test, according to a Daily Mail report that should be taken with a grain of salt.
That rumor did not bode well for Teller, whose reputation had already been tarnished by a 2015 Esquire story in which he made mention of his penis in dialogue with a waiter (see headlines like “Report: Miles Teller’s Allegedly Unvaccinated Ass Causes Headaches on Godfather Series Set”).
Nevertheless, Teller’s representative informed the Daily Mail that its “facts are inaccurate” but chose not to go further.
The majority of people then went on with their lives, but the Teller anti-vax story recently got some further traction after it was discovered that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had not received a vaccination, in violation of NFL regulations.
Internet sleuths reexamined Teller and his wife’s May trip to Hawaii with Rodgers and his fiancée Shailene Woodley (Woodley and Teller were Divergent co-stars) and made inferences regarding the group’s overall immunization status.
Let’s fast forward to this week, when Teller plays the lead in Swift’s “I Bet You Think About Me” music video. The 34-year-old actor is unquestionably the ideal choice to play Swift’s upper-class, organic shoe-wearing, million-dollar sofa-owning ex.
Swifties, however, questioned the casting in light of Teller’s prior problems. Did Taylor Swift Not Hear About Miles Teller’s Anti-Vax Controversy? wondered The Daily Beast.
Teller may not have been able to correct the record with just a devastating Daily Mail article, but Swift Nation’s anger undoubtedly did. He tweeted on Tuesday morning, “Hey everyone, I don’t typically feel the need to address rumors on here but I am vaccinated and have been for a long.” “Hatred is the only thing I’m against.”
On a micro level, the Teller tale presumably comes to a close at this point, but it also begs the bigger question of whether or not celebrities disclosing or confirming their vaccination status (as model Bella Hadid did in September) will become the norm. Personally, I have nothing against immunization cards becoming the newest in fashion jewelry.