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Joe Jonas and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad PR

By Chris Revelle | Celebrity | September 7, 2023 |

By Chris Revelle | Celebrity | September 7, 2023 |


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Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner have announced their divorce in the typical 2023 fashion of identical notes posted on their respective Instagrams. In it, they claim this was a mutual decision made together and that “There are many speculative narratives as to why, but truly this is a united decision and we sincerely hope that everyone can respect our wishes for privacy for us and our children.” It’s certainly staid as far as these kinds of missives go and it’s hard to fault a couple for their concerns over rampant speculation and how their children might be impacted. After all, Jonas and Turner have kept their children almost entirely out of the spotlight, so of course they’re seeking privacy while they work out this very personal affair.

What’s that? Suddenly there are stories circulating about how Turner is out partying all the time while Jonas selflessly cares for their children, even while he tours with his band. And there’s something Jonas heard or saw Turner do on their Ring camera that convinced him their marriage was over. What was that thing? Conveniently unknown! It’s much easier to imply something nefarious has happened and allow hives of cheap misogyny and QAnon bullshit like Deuxmoi or Crazy Days and Nights to fill in the blanks for you than it is to float a provably false story.

Then suddenly, child privacy went out the window as Jonas paraded them in front of conveniently present paparazzi as he ate with them at a restaurant. These stories all floated so quickly that some broke before the official divorce announcement did. It seems brazenly clear that this is the creation of Jonas’ PR, working aggressively to paint a bad picture of Turner as quickly as possible.

Why would Jonas’ PR team go this wild so immediately? It seems likely he has something to distract from. As Mike Redmond asked in a recent Pajiba Love: what did Joe Jonas do? I can only imagine that it’s something especially terrible if they’re moving this quickly, but we’ll see whatever it is eventually. In the meantime, how is the Jonas PR offensive going? Not great! The backlash to this narrative has been as swift as the flacks Jonas hired with people trolling him and even Vogue coming to Turner’s defense. Eagle eyes in the Pajiba Slack pointed out, the picture many outlets ran to confirm what a wild partier Turner has become is in fact a shot from a wrap party for a TV series she just finished. It’s fascinating that instead of taking the stories at face value, the gossip-consuming public is thinking critically and challenging what appears to be a false narrative. In a world where disinformation and misinformation are increasingly common, especially in the gossip sphere, it’s a pleasant surprise.

Wherever this story goes, it’s sure to end up in the annals of hot goss history as an example of overplaying a hand. The Jonas PR shot the moon and ended up making him look all the worse for it. Perhaps this is a sign that the old tricks of media manipulation, of rushing to the outlets with a damning story before your ex, aren’t quite so effective anymore.