Pop Culture Mondays/12.6.21


Brooke Hammerling
Dec 6, 2021 · 8 min read
Welcome to my brain…

HAPPY Monday my darling pop culture junkies! I hope you had a magical weekend and a beautiful Hannukah/Art Basel/Birthday celebrations/holiday shopping extravaganza/ wedding celebrations/Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and football games and pickleball tournaments (still figuring this one out) or poker tournaments or cozy movies in bed….WHATEVER you had going on this weekend I mean let’s just celebrate that we are coming back — SAFELY — and enjoying togetherness and life and that’s a beautiful thing. Look, let’s just get to it as we have a busy week and the Ghislaine Maxwell trial to follow. SO…onwards. Again, we are Trump-free and Trump-adjacent free EVEN if it’s a jackass Trump-supporting congressman from Kentucky who posts his holiday card of his family proudly holding their HIGH POWERED AUTOMATIC WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AFTER another mass school shooting. I mean….

(I am not covering the mass shooting here. The victims:

Madisyn Baldwin, 17

Tate Myre, 16

Hana St. Juliana, 14

Justin Shilling, 17

Those are the people who we should be talking about. Not the shooter or his horrible parents. So I am choosing to not cover this today.

We need some fun things tbh…

So sit back, grab those headphones and perhaps a coffee drink or a glass of wine (no judgment, it’s 5 PM somewhere), and enjoy.





I am WELL aware that MOST of you will have not known about this story and I am also well aware that most of you will not CARE about this story. But this is my newsletter so I choose the theme and while YES there was a guy who fired a bunch of people via a weird Zoom which we will get to…TRY finding a good pic of Baby Yoda getting fired. I DARE YOU! So Chanel scandolo it is.

First of all, let me explain HOW much I love Advent Calendars. Not because I am religious (Girl, I am 88 percent, Ashkenazi Jew. I was born a Quaker. Baptized a Presbyterian. First Communioned as a Catholic. AND CONFIRMED as an Episcopal. I will take ALL of it. But the ADVENT Calendar was basically the only thing I ever really was surprised and delighted by as a child. EVERYTHING else seemed fairly predictable ( I knew I was getting a Cabbage Patch because I threatened my mother if I did not get one). I mean I KNEW there would be a chocolate in each window, but what KIND of chocolate or toy would it be?? IN fact, I wrote about the Bonne Maman Advent Calendar I got this year and while YES, every day is a different little mini-jam, they're special little mini-jams I would never ever buy. Like CHERRY ELDERFLOWER. I am HERE for it:

I digress. AT any rate, Advent Calendars seem to be VERY on trend this year. And luxury brands are selling OUT of them. From the $295 Liberty of London one:

….to the YES $150,000 one from Tiffany & Co. (NO JOKE).

People are into it. And this is where our story begins my darling readers.

Chanel TOO has a now sold-out Advent Calendar for $825, and it was the coveted Box of the season for some, including some TikTokkers. GOD BLESS the kids spending this on an ADVENT Calendar but alas here we are in 2021 living the commercial dream I guess. But the story unfolds in a hilarious way and that is the calendar DOES have a lot of surprises. Just not the kind people were hoping for. From stickers to plastic toys it seems to have been a massive misfire. And the TikTokker who first revealed it went viral and then APPARENTLY Chanel blocked her on TikTok which is NEVER A GOOD IDEA. Ok, let’s showcase this now vs me talking about it because I am actually looking a billion brain cells on each word I write about this subject:

I mean LET me be clear…these videos have been viewed OVER 14 million times. There are many more but to me, it’s all the HOT TAKES and parody videos:

SO….everyone is getting canceled these days. I mean are you ANYONE if you are not canceled? SO Chanel, your move…



Look…the most shocking thing about this whole story to me is I am in tech and I read tech media all day long. I also recently got myself a mortgage. I also do EVERYTHING online that I can. Insurance? LEMONADE, obviously. Shopping IRL? NOPE. SO the fact that I was not even aware of this online mortgage company Better.com before this video shows me that they DO need to improve their business (hello marketing and comms..) because like WHAT IS THIS BRAND?? (Don’t come at me tech peeps…it was NOT on my radar!)

So let me be clear. I am in the communications business. That means I help companies and executives tell a story in a clear and thoughtful way. Whether good news or bad news. No one is perfect BUT it is the job of the executive and the comms team to do their best in how they present things. And let’s just say THIS was not one of those days. Whether the CEO went rogue, or the comms team wasn't equipped, the whole thing is a HOT MESS. Let’s take a look:

SO let’s break this down and think of this as a quick little masterclass in what NOT to do when you have to fire people. I understand when you have to lay off hundreds of people and you are not in one location then this is likely the best way to do it via a video call. BUT, you damn well better believe it will be recorded and you damn well better have your messaging down.


  • Make this about YOU and how hard this is for YOU.
  • Don’t pre-amble all this emotional garbage leaving people holding their breath.
  • Again, don't make this about YOU. Like how clear can I be?
  • Get your NUMBERS right. They had to issue a correction it was 9% of the workforce not 15%.
  • Don’t even suggest HR won’t have their shit together and that they MAY not reach out to you so therefore it is ON YOU to chase HR.
  • Don’t use the term LUCK ever ever ever. Not “I hope you will be luckier in your next endeavor…” not ever “BEST OF LUCK”.
  • Don’t appear like you are talking off the cuff and looking off to the side and leaving large gaps of time in between what you say.


  • All of the above? FLIP it.
  • He should have started by saying exactly what was happening and saying it with empathy and compassion.
  • He should not have ever said how hard it is for HIM, but instead, explain how hard he knows this is for them.
  • He should have not done the video until he had his message down.
  • If the CEO cannot be relied upon to deliver this sort of news in an appropriate way, then figure out another way to deliver the news.

What happened next was in some ways worse. He apparently went to talk to the people who were not fired and blamed the fired employees for bringing “the rocketship down”. Also, it is alleged that they fired their ENTIRE DIVERSITY/EQUITY/INCLUSION teams. 🙄

Man, the TikTok community goes AFTER this CEO. And frankly, GOOD for them. This is a masterclass in terrible leadership.



We are short and sweet this week because I have my real job to focus on as well as holiday shopping and you don’t want to lose 2 hours of your day to this. DO you? ALAS, we will have a podcast SOON…I am so delayed on this there is not enough time in the day. But let’s get to a few other things everyone was talking about on the Socials…

  • OG Hamilton castmates and real-world couple had a real-world break up ahead of their upcoming wedding which people THINK is due to a TikTokker revealing she saw Anthony Ramos at a strip club with a girl that was not Jasmine Cephas Jones. And TIKTOK IS SAVAGE and they are going after him and protecting the angel that is Jazzy Jones.
  • Jack left as CEO of Twitter. This happened last Monday. Everyone talking about it, but like WHY DO WE CARE. BUT, my tweet about how it appeared over the weekend in the NEW YORK TIMES WENT mini-viral so I shall showcase it here. All I know is the NEW YORK TIMES chose violence. Ed Hardy? WOW.
  • New TikTok dance trend at the moment is to Adele’s new song and it is cute:
  • And you wonder why I moved to LA?? The great cream cheese shortage is plaguing NYC and itis a fiasco:
  • This is one I am really not ok with.
  • Another trend on TikTok you MIGHT be aware of if you have a TikTokker at home. Try it…
  • And ONE more silly TikTok trend I love because of the music:
  • Have you heard of the Mandela Effect? It is REAL. Like for example, DARTH VADER NEVER EVER SAYS, “Luke, I am your father…”. WHUT? True story. For more examples, check this out:

And this…

And this is one that’s doing my head in because I totally remember this. Tinker Bell DID this no??

THAT IS IT my darlings.

Did I cover Chris Cuomo being fired by CNN? NOPE. Because it has gotten a lot of attention and it needs NO MORE. MEDIOCRE MEN DISAPPOINTING US WHEN THEY GET ACCESS TO POWER?? It’s a story as old as time.

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Pop Culture Mondays

Pop Culture Mondays