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Chances are, it's not a super-fabulous thing to find comparable distinctions to make between one's self and any character featured in Netflix's Black Mirror. The heady series generally serves as a cautionary tale for humanity's fascination with future tech, and Season 5's "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too" offered up a bizarre take on the strains of stardom and pop music merchandizing, with Miley Cyrus as the lead character.
As the music megastar Ashley, Miley Cyrus rocks pink hair. She sports a public image that young females simply cannot get enough of, though things are much darker behind the scenes, where she's disengaged from stardom and is in a mental battle with her aunt, Susan Pourfar's Catherine. Apparently, this was all a little too much for real-life pop star Halsey, who saw something of herself in Ashley. Here's how she put it on social media.
Black Mirror episode about a popstar named Ashley with colorful hair. Existential crisis: Engage.
Of course, the Jersey-born Halsey was almost definitely hyperbolic with her reaction, since Twitter has got to be one of the worst places possible for people to visit when dealing with any kind of a crisis. Still, it was likely a major shock to find an assortment of comparative qualities to make concerning Ashely. It can be assumed that Halsey didn't justify similar comparisons between herself and Anthony Mackie's "Striking Vipers" character, or with Topher Grace's "Smithereens" character.
Though her hair styles and colors do change, Halsey is known to have rocked a hairdo that looked quite similar to Miley Cyrus' pinkness up top. Which is to say nothing about the musical styles and talent on that front.
Plus, for those who aren't aware, Halsey's given name is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane. So yes, she actually IS an Ashley in real lie, though the 24-year-old goes by her stage name for professional purposes.
Someone else called upon this fact when sharing an image that got Halsey's attention. (Also, SPOILERS for the episode are below the tweet.)
For those who are slightly confused, "Rachel, Jack & Ashley Too" actually centered on Angourie Rice's #1 Ashley stan Rachel, who grew to be at odds with her sister Jack (Madison Davenport) after their mom's death. For a present, Rachel gets an electronic "friend" that's modeled after Ashley, using her voice in order to sing, having conversations, provide advice about things, and to share influences for her many songs. The kind of thing I wish had existed for certain musicians in my own youth.
Even if Halsey did see a lot of herself in Miley Cyrus' Ashley, here's hoping she doesn't also have a malicious aunt as her manager. Unless, of course, there's a prototype Halsey electronic companion that also has the capacity to gain near-complete sentience after some system twitches, and can then convince some nearby girls to help save her human counterpart. (The installment also confirmed endings for previously aired episodes.)
Truth be told, there were many viewers out there had negative things to say about "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too," though Miley Cyrus' sincere and uncharacteristic performance did earn her a lot of compliments. Critics mostly lined up against the plot itself, which some found was a more surface-level take as compared to Black Mirror's most cutting stories.
TV episodes are, as it goes with most art forms, experienced quite subjectively, though, so there were also lots of viewers out there who did dig the ep quite a lot. It's unclear for now what Halsey thought, assuming she even watched it.
If the summer heat already has you dreading the outdoors, Black Mirror Seasons 1-5 are currently available to stream on Netflix.