Nashville natives Kristin Cavallari and her husband Jay Cutler have drawn controversy over the past few weeks, as it’s emerged that they, their children and close friends have been self isolating in the Bahamas.
While they appear to have returned home now, they were criticised after posting pictures of themselves travelling to New York and then going on a “modern family spring break” on a Bahamian island just two days after a national state of emergency was declared in the US.
Cavallari and her hairstylist, Justin Anderson, have both been the subject of criticism for their self-isolation vacation - with the latter defending their decision in the comments of his posts.
On March 15, they both shared pictures of themselves on a sandy beach which prompted one user to write, “Love your show but you really think posting vacation pics is in good taste while the world struggles?”
Responding to one critical commenter, Anderson said that he was “social distancing here” (with a heart emoji) and said in another response, “You go to work- people judge. You social distance - people judge. Just wash your hands, keep your space, and use this time to be positive and take care of your loved ones.”
Anderson also claimed they were isolating on an “empty island”, though it is not clear from their posts whether hotel staff were attending to them over the period.
He said, “Being stuck on an empty island and forced to quarantine could be worse. Thankful for my wolf pack during these scary times. This is where we are, this is us staying positive.”
“We couldn’t be social if we tried. I am afraid of what we will go home to when they let us back into the states. Hope you’re all staying safe where ever you happen to be,” he continued.
At this point, Claire Downs - a TV writer who chronicled the entire saga on Twitter - pointed out that they should have been able to fly home as the travel ban did not apply to the Bahamas.
At this point, the Bahamas had not restricted travel out of the country. Cavallari and Anderson promote VeryCavallari and her brand Uncommon James, acknowledging “it feels weird to promote” pic.twitter.com/SVT5AwBXm4— claire (@clairecdowns)April 6, 2020
Over a series of Instagram posts, it became apparent that Cavallari was vacation-isolating with her husband Cutler, her three children, Anderson and Anderson’s partner.
One video Cavallari posted revealed that they were staying in a lavish modern villa and were finding creative ways to keep themselves occupied, which included lining up tortillas on the floor flipping them onto their head with a scuba flipper.
Cavallari captioned the tortilla video, “What happens when you’ve been quarantined for a week....”
Anderson and Cavillari also heavily promoted the return of her reality TV show Very Cavallari on their Instagram accounts, with Anderson posting four separate videos.
Cavallari also used a beach selfie to promote a “new platform where I can reach each and every one of you every time via text”, her clothing brands Uncommon James and Little James as well as her cookbook True Comfort.
In her cookbook post, she wrote, “for many of us, we’re busier than ever, managing kids home from school while trying to get work done and getting nourishing meals on the table might feel just about impossible these days.”
At this point, Cavallari was still in the Bahamas. In their promotional posts for Very Cavallari, Anderson and Cavallari both said in their captions that it was “weird to have to promote something” with Cavallari adding, “I’m trying to stay positive and keep a sense of humor sooo... if you need something to do stuck in quarantine tonight, check out the season finale of @verycavallari.”
Her promotional posts were met with backlash from some users, with one commenting, “You seem completely out of touch with what is going on in the world right now. You are just worried about selling your products”
Although it is unclear whether Cavallari and Anderson were sponsored by fitness company Rise Movement, the pair also posted numerous workout videos to their social media accounts from the “empty island” - tagging the company in each of their captions.
Anderson wrote in the caption of one of his workout videos, “just doing a little workout with my lady friend @kristincavallari ✌🏼 we love @risemovement and his workouts. by the way, just to avoid the exhausting comments... we’re on a beach stuck, we’re social distancing, this is an outside gym with ZERO human interaction, so calm your titties and realize we are doing the best we can. keep it sweet ♥️”
He also added in another video that Cavallari tries to get “a workout in before an isolation beach day.”
He asked, “Do you die for our corona workout location today? not a person in sight. we haven’t left each other’s side in over three weeks and we still gigglin and jokin and playin and sweatin- dats love [sic].”
Cutler, who was initially quiet, eventually began to make Castaway jokes - posting pictures of himself with a volleyball named Molten.
The volleyball is a reference to the Tom Hanks film, where Hanks is stranded on a deserted island and transforms a volleyball into a companion called Wilson.
He also joked in another picture of himself standing waist-high in tropical waters: “No TP needed.”
Cavallari revealed on Monday that she had “made it off the island” and posted a picture of a roaring fireplace as she watched CNN.
Cavallari and Anderson faced backlash for their posts and holiday, with one user writing, “We just cancelled our modern family spring break. Because we are responsible humans.”
Others said that it wasn’t in “good taste” to be posting during the pandemic, which has affected people all over the world.
Another wrote on a picture Cavallari posted of herself in a bikini with Anderson, “We are going through a major health crisis. Is this really the right thing to be posting?”
Other stars have been criticised for heading off to holiday destinations or lavish second homes over the coronavirus pandemic.
Outlander star Sam Heughan revealed he had booked a Hawaiian holiday after an American convention he was meant to be appearing at was cancelled and was self-isolating there.
The Hawaiian healthcare system cannot handle someone on vacation during a pandemic. Afraid to go home. Flight are going ..do the right thing. Repatriate and visit at a better time.— Blunt and Honest (@BluntandHonest3)March 23, 2020
Following the revelation, which was made in a Twitter Q&A session, he defended himself and called users criticising him “rude or completely disillusional [sic].”
Three days before Heughan revealed he was in Hawaii, Hawaiian governor David Ige made a public appeal for travellers to “postpone their vacations for at least the next thirty days.”
Nashville, where Cavallari and her family are, has a stay at home order.
The US has reported over 11,000 coronavirus-related deaths and 370,000 confirmed virus cases, while globally there have been nearly 75,000 deaths and 1.3 million confirmed cases.