DeuxMoi’s big HBO deal is changing the celebrity gossip game

The story of how DeuxMoi came to be is something of pop culture lore, often repeated between friends over brunch, passed from college students to their social media-savvy mothers, and featured in countless articles over the last two years. The celebrity gossip Instagram page famously arose on a whim in March 2020 when an anonymous New York City woman, bored and stuck at home while awaiting the first COVID-19 lockdown, made an inquiry with her followers shared, “Celebrity Stories (first or secondhand) you’re ready to share.”

The profile, @deuxmoi, was what was left of a defunct fashion blog the woman had started years earlier with a friend, and it had a modest but not insignificant following of 45,000 people who happily sent in messages about their celebrity encounters . Tips ranged from harmless anecdotes (perhaps a famous comedian kindly posed for a picture with someone at Starbucks, for example) to salacious sex stories, like the rumor that Leonardo DiCaprio likes to wear headphones when he does the deed, which he does DeuxMoi- coined nickname “Headphones Dino Bones”. The account admin took screenshots of the DMs she received and posted them to her Instagram Stories. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, two years and 1.5 million (!!) followers later, DeuxMoi is essentially a celebrity herself — so much so that she’s getting her own scripted HBO Max series loosely based on her life. Earlier this week, it was announced that the streaming platform is developing an hour-long drama titled anon pls, adapted from DeuxMoi’s upcoming novel of the same name. Part Gossip Girl, Part The devil Wears Prada, anon pls follows Cricket Lopez, the assistant to a nightmarish celebrity stylist. When Cricket rebrands her Instagram as a Hollywood gossip blog, she’s unprepared for the unfathomable social media fame that awaits her.

In a September 2020 interview with The Daily Beast, the woman behind DeuxMoi expressed her desire to one day be able to monetize her hard work. At that time, she worked 9am to 5am during the day and spent all her free time browsing her inbox and posting to DeuxMoi. She told The Daily Beast that she regularly stays up until 2:30 a.m. to work on the account, all for free.

In the 20 months since this interview was published, DeuxMoi has granted her wish, and then some. She’s transformed her platform into a merchandise line (fans can shop for crewnecks and hats with the slogan “ANON PLS”), a book deal, and now a TV show with a major streaming service. It’s a testament to the account’s rapid evolution from a crowdsourced pandemic pastime to a full-fledged cultural phenomenon. But the price of such quick and unexpected success could only be DeuxMoi’s integrity as a source of celebrity gossip. Instagram’s leading gossip killer may be flying a little too close to the sun with this latest HBO partnership.

It should be noted that DeuxMoi is not and never has been a verified, official or even consistently reliable entertainment news agency. From the outset, the admin has carefully guarded against liability by frequent, emphatic disclaimers. (We refer to DeuxMoi as “they,” as in the original admin, although followers on Facebook discussion groups have speculated that the account is now run by a team of people.) Her bio reads, “Have testimony on this account this has not been independently confirmed. This account makes no claims that any information published is based on fact.”

DeuxMoi receives tips via Instagram DM and an online email form and posts them to her story without fact checking. The tips are usually coded as “blinds” or the admin takes it upon himself to block names if the information seems particularly sensitive. Celebrities are often referred to simply as “A-list singers” or “B+-list TV actors.” There have been many instances where tips seem far too outlandish to be real — or smell like they’re being passed on purpose by a celebrity’s own team. DeuxMoi has also fallen prey to toxic fandoms sending in “tips” that read more like wishful thinking. It’s up to followers to be critical of what they read.

Despite all the fake blind articles and posts about J.Lo’s Carbone order, DeuxMoi also released important celebrity news before gracing the pages of People and Us weekly. She released the Hillsong Megachurch’s first statement when disgraced pastor (and Justin Bieber’s sidekick) Carl Lentz was fired. She spilled over Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost’s secret wedding in October 2020. She knew about Emily Ratajkowski’s pregnancy and Harry Styles’ Coachella appearance weeks before the news of either broke.

“She released the Hillsong Megachurch’s first statement when disgraced pastor (and Justin Bieber’s sidekick) Carl Lentz was fired. She spilled over Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost’s secret wedding in October 2020. She knew about Emily Ratajkowski’s pregnancy and Harry Styles’ Coachella appearance weeks before the news of either broke.”

Another story DeuxMoi was ahead of was the behind-the-scenes drama between Barbie Ferreira and Sam Levinson on the set of euphoria. The gossip account first published rumors of a rift between Ferreira and the series creator in early January, leading to the fan-favorite actress playing a reduced role in the show’s second season. “The new season of Euphoria is going to be really DARK,” it read anonymous email. “So much so that some actors, notably Barbie Ferreira, didn’t agree with the director’s vision. Barbie met him on set and left one day. Then he cut many of her lines. That’s why she’s not in the trailer or at the premiere.”

The tension between Ferreira and Levinson turned out to be a huge story surrounding the second season of HBO’s drug-addicted teen drama, and DeuxMoi was instrumental in bringing it to light. This is just one example of what the significant conflict of interest created by their partnership with HBO is all about. In fact, the entire cast of euphoria is constant fodder for DeuxMoi’s Instagram Stories given the level of interest in the hugely popular series.

Jacob Elordi is a weekly fixture in the Sunday Spotted roundup, where Deux posts all the celebrity sightings she’s received over the previous week, accompanied by constant speculation about who he’s dating at the moment (at the moment it’s reportedly the College Admissions -Scandal-Stricken Influencer Olivia Jade). Zendaya and it girl du jour Maude Apatow also make regular appearances. And DeuxMoi was one of the first sources to confirm the relationship (and recent split) between co-stars Hunter Schafer and Dominic Fike.

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Hunter Schafer, Sam Levinson, Angus Cloud and Zendaya visit HBOs euphoria Photocall for Season 2 at Goya Studios on January 5, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Jeff Kravitz/Getty

Now that DeuxMoi has a vested — and financial — interest in HBO, it’s not hard to imagine her being swayed from posting anything negative about the network. At the very least, divulging the details of its stars’ dates, coffee orders, and feuds will certainly be awkward, which will dampen the fun of following. People want to know how much Zendaya and Tom Holland tipped on their dinner date in Boston! we to earn to know!

Then there is the broader issue of subjectivity. Admittedly, DeuxMoi has never been completely impartial and has always been shaped by the interests of the admin – one might think Jack Quaid is a lot more famous than he actually is based on the sheer volume of posts about him. But this new professional partnership represents a giant step even further away from objectivity. Sure, the account will disproportionately promote its own show, but maybe it’ll also start to shy away from covering shows and stars on competing networks like Netflix and Hulu. What if there’s a really juicy rumor about one anon pls Actor? It can be assumed that DeuxMoi will look the other way.

When it comes down to it, a good purveyor of celebrity gossip can’t be a celebrity himself. She cannot have a dog in combat. What made DeuxMoi so addictive in its early days was how distinctly different it felt to reading a tabloid or scrolling through red carpet paparazzi photos. The everydayness of what she highlighted was refreshing — who among us isn’t curious about what Julianne Moore is buying at Whole Foods? Most importantly, it worked because she was one of us, a fan, and flipping through her stories felt like chatting with a friend over a cocktail.

perhaps anon pls will be great, or at least better than HBO’s disastrous gossip Girl reboot from last year. But it also undeniably marks the end of an era for the DeuxMoi we’ve come to know and love.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/deuxmois-big-hbo-deal-is-changing-the-celeb-gossip-game?source=articles&via=rss DeuxMoi’s big HBO deal is changing the celebrity gossip game

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