A peek into the topics buzzing at Cassandra

The first Friday of the month is here! And with it, our weekly recap of all things viral. Culture moves fast, so we at Cassandra keep our eyes and ears open to catch the most relevant topics young people can’t stop talking about online. Today, we will explore Olivia Rodrigo’s new initiative, Lady Gaga’s partnership with one of the biggest video games in the world and the infinitely mocked Willy Wonka fiasco—all this and more in this week’s edition of Viral News!


The Disney star turned multi-platinum and 3 times Grammy-winning artist, Olivia Rodrigo, has decided to take a stand in favor of women’s issues by creating a nonprofit called Fund 4 Good —a cheeky wordplay of her hit song good 4 u— focused on supporting reproductive rights, girls’ education, and prevention of gender-based violence. The initiative was launched at the end of last year and this week the singer took to TikTok to announce through her official fan account that for the North American leg of her Guts World Tour they would be partnering with the National Abortion Funds organization to donate a percentage of ticket proceeds. With this announcement, many fans are celebrating how Olivia is stepping away from being a “just talk” kind of celebrity and instead she’s “putting her money where her mouth is.”


This is not a drill. Mother Monster herself is headlining the Fortnite Festival Season 2, the spinoff rhythm game released last year by Epic Games and previously headlined by The Weekend. Players are now able to not only wear Lady Gaga’s iconic Chromatica look as a skin but also accessorize correspondingly while hitting the right beats of her also iconic song library. The singer announced her collaboration with the beloved franchise via X (formerly known as Twitter) by quoting a 2019 post where she asked “What’s fornight”. The skins, Chromatica-themed stage, top-charting songs, and multiple accessories will be available for in-game purchase until April 22nd. Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, The Weekend, J Balvin, Eminem, and now Lady Gaga are just a few examples of music artists embracing digital experiences as an avenue to solidify fan connection and reach and we are so excited to see it!


What happens when you use generative A.I. to create visuals to lure people into your “immersive experience” inspired by a very popular story, and then fail to deliver anything more than a nightmarish warehouse that could perfectly be the set of the next Saw movie? You get dragged online. The UK-based company House of the Illuminati was supposed to create the “Willy’s Chocolate Experience” and promised attendees a wonderful celebration of chocolate with Oompa Loompas, performances, experiential labs, music, games, and the appearance of the chocolatier himself. What people got was… not that. The almost empty warehouse, low budget decor, cheap costumes, and unmotivated performers portraying nonsensical A.I. generated scripts —said by the Willy actor — ended up generating a thunderstorm of hilarious memes, and sparking conversations around the consequences of using generative A.I. without any sort of responsibility or critical skills.