The most terrifying figures in human history are often the kind that hide in plain sight. John Wayne Gacy was a respected member of his community, but also a prolific murderer who kept dead bodies in a crawlspace; Ted Bundy had a family and worked at a suicide prevention hotline, but also maintained a collection of severed heads. Both men seemed perfectly normal. Nobody who knew them suspected just how wretched they really were.
Consider now the actor that cybersecurity company McAfee has just named 2019's “most dangerous celebrity”: the Malware Monster herself, Alexis Bledel.
Bledel, best known for playing Gilmore Girls’ Rory, seems like a perfectly nice person and, in her defense, her position as this year’s “most dangerous celebrity online” has absolutely nothing to do with anything she herself has done. Time’s Mark Kennedy, in an article describing McAfee’s list, says that Bledel has earned her new infamy because “no other celebrity was more likely to land users on websites that carry viruses and malware” when their name was searched. Probably because of her role on The Handmaid’s Tale, Bledel has become the posterchild of McAfee’s ongoing campaign to “highlight the danger of clicking on suspicious links” associated with “famous names.”
This makes sense, but Time isn’t helping make Bledel look less like a scary murderer when their summary of the story uses a Halloween-inspired backing track and juxtaposes stock footage of hackers in black hoodies typing on keyboards with the actor posing for cameras on red carpets. All of it calls to mind nightmare images of Rory Gilmore, speed-talking about famous literature in her whispery voice, never knowing that all the while she’s hiding a butcher’s knife behind her back, waiting for her victim to drop their guard before she dismembers them and tans their flesh for book covers—or, even in the best case scenario, Bledel sneaking up behind you to slip a camcorder recording of Joker packed with malware onto your laptop.
If this wasn’t frightening enough, remember that McAfee (whose founder is no slouch in the “terrifying celebrity” department either) also names James Corden, Sophie Turner, and Anna Kendrick in its top 10 list of “dangerous” internet searches for 2019. Any one of these figures, innocent as they may seem, are just ready and waiting to ruin your life by turning your computer into a virus-ridden wreck. Do not trust Anna Kendrick’s promises of free Photoshop downloads; turn away when Sophie Turner says she has leaked copies of upcoming Watchmen episodes; run for the hills when James Corden says he can get you a lifetime Netflix subscription by filling out a quick online survey. They are liars, all of them, their potential for horror hidden behind smiling, seemingly innocent faces.
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