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Press hysteria aboard Rihanna’s 777 flight

By | Published on Tuesday 20 November 2012


What happens when 200 music press professionals consent to board an R&B popstar’s private 777 jet to tour with said popstar (and several of her super fans) as she makes promotional appearances in seven cities in the space of seven days? Well… a naked Australian man, apparently.

This video, shot mid-flight as Rihanna’s costly 777 express moved between Berlin and London on Sunday night, features a key moment in what’s being billed as a ‘Lord Of The Flies’-style ‘press revolt’, with dissatisfied journalists and film crews rebelling against a repetitive itinerary, fatigue and Rihanna’s apparent non-presence on the junket.

Defining the general mood on the plane as one of “mild depression-cum-hysteria”, Rolling Stone’s Jeff Rosenthall writes, “We haven’t seen Rihanna off stage since the first day, unless you count her popping up at baggage claim for a few moments on the morning of the second”.

Also noting the lack of pop star in the journalists’ part of the plane, MTV News’ Joel Hannek commented to Billboard that “she’s building a blanket fort up there”, while Robbie Daw – of US pop site Idolator – proposed: “‘We should cut her out from the ‘Unapologetic’ poster and carry her around like Flat Stanley”.

Meanwhile, writing for Popjustice, Michael Cragg takes a more balanced approach, summing up the trip yesterday thus: “If Rihanna doesn’t want to do something then she won’t. If she wants to show up on stage in Stockholm or Berlin two hours late then there’s not a lot anyone can do about it … There are moments of course when you wish someone in her management team or record label would just tell her she has to do something – one of the promised press conferences, perhaps – but at the same time this whole ‘777 tour turns into anarchy’ thing fits perfectly with her rude girl popstar persona. The footage of various members of the media turning feral during last night’s flight from Berlin slots into Rihanna’s confusing, complicated and sometimes infuriating ‘brand values'”.