Warning: Massive spoilers ahead!
Since 2011, the Netflix series Black Mirror has been creeping out millions of viewers about the perverse effects of technology. While the series is considered to be “science fiction”, its episodes are nevertheless based on real-life trends and products that are already part of society today. The Black Mirror secret: To vividly demonstrate how we’re one misstep away from an Orwellian nightmare.
The fifth season of the series took things to a slightly different direction: It included a somewhat unusual episode, which adopted a somewhat different tone and featured a somewhat unexpected star: Miley Cyrus.
In the episode titled Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too, Miley plays the role of Ashley O, a pop star who is extremely popular with young people. But then, we discover that Ashley O is actually a mind-controlled slave with a fake persona who is tightly controlled by a team of ruthless handlers who keep her under constant heavy medication. If you’ve read other articles on this site, you know that none of this is fiction. Several pop stars actually live this way. Including Miley Cyrus who has been a pawn of the entertainment industry since a very young age.
From a child actress in the Disney series Hannah Montana, Miley turned into a hypersexualized pop star when she began her solo career. There are several articles on VC that explain exactly how Miley has been used by the industry to push agendas. The fact that she plays this exact role is an episode of Black Mirror is … creepy. Especially when considering some events in Miley’s own past.
Although Black Mirror depicts a sanitized and romanticized version of mind control, several basic elements are there. Here’s a look at the episode.
Mind-Controlled Pop Star
At the beginning of the episode, Ashley O is presented as a pop star with an “empowerment vibe” who constantly talks about the importance of controlling one’s own destiny. Ironically, not unlike most pop stars out there, she is not “empowered” and she has absolutely no control over her own destiny.
Indeed, her entire life and career are controlled by her aunt Catherine who is actually her MK handler. While she acts like a warm, caring mother-figure, Catherine always makes sure that Ashley is obedient and productive through heavy medication
While, on camera, Ashley is all fun and smiles, we quickly realize that she is basically a prisoner of her house and her pop star persona.
When Catherine hears Ashley singing about being an “animal in a cage” (an apt way of describing an MK slave), she asks her if she’s taking her meds.
In past articles, we’ve seen how controlled pop stars sometimes attempted to break out of their persona to write songs honest songs describing what they’re going through. For example, Kesha’s song Dancing With the Devil, which was written while she was under the control of the producer Dr. Luke, talks about how she “sold her soul” and that “there’s no turning back”. Unspringsingly enough, the song was never released.
In a meeting with Ashley’s “doctor”, Catherine worries about her niece writing “obtuse BS that nobody will buy”. The conclusion: Her meds need to be changed.
After discovering that Ashley wanted more control over her life and career, Catherine did what any caring aunt would do: She drugged her enough to put her in a coma.
A similar situation actually happened to Miley Cyrus in 2014:
Even stranger: Miley filmed a disturbing music video WHILE she was hospitalized.
Is Black Mirror insinuating that Miley’s 2014 “allergic reaction” was, in fact, something else&
The scenes above also recall the real-life situation of Britney Spears. As explained in my article about the Free Britney movement, Britney was forcibly detained in a mental health facility after she refused to take her meds. The story was first covered up by her handlers who claimed that she was “taking time off due to her father’s poor health”.
Even while hospitalized, Ashley O is under tight control.
While Ashley is in a coma, her aunt launches Ashley Eternal, a holographic version of the singer, complete with a fully synthesized voice.
This scene is also not science fiction. It actually started years ago.
Fortunately for Ashley O, she snapped out of her coma and was able to free herself from her handlers’ control. Some critics did not approve of the “happy ending” of this episode because it did not fit the usually bleak outlook of the Black Mirror series.
But was the ending truly “happy”?
When Ashley got out of her drug-induced coma, the episode quickly turned a Hannah Montana episode, complete with Miley Cyrus joking around with a robotic AI version of herself. Then she gets involved in a ridiculous police chase which magically ends right in front of Catherine who was still presenting Ashley Eternal to a crowd of people.
What does this mean? Usually, when a character breaks the fourth wall, it is to convey a specific message.
During the end credits, we see that Ashley’s career took a new direction.
Judging by the scene above, Ashley appears to be finally performing the music she loves. To many, that’s a “happy ending” that breaks with the Black Mirror tradition.
However, there are some details that need pointing out. First, the song she performs is a cover of Nine Inch Nail’s Head Like a Hole. Her hit single heard at the beginning of the episode was also Head Like a Hole. The only difference: This new version is pop-rock instead of electro-pop. Did her life actually take a new direction? Or was she simply rebranded?
Considering these facts, one can ask: Did Catherine say “F*ck it” because she decided to let Ashley go? Or did she say “F*ck it”, I will rebrand her with a new edgy persona (while keeping control of her)?
Taking things further, considering the outlandish ending of the episode, one can ask: Did Ashley O actually dream all of this? Is she still in a coma?
While it is considered to be “science fiction”, Black Mirror gained an avid viewership due to its “wow, that could happen” factor. The episode Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too is no exception. As seen above, the episode depicted Miley Cyrus – an actual mind-controlled pop star – as a … mind-controlled pop star. While actual trauma-based mind control is widely different from what is depicted in Black Mirror, the basic concept of a pop star slave is there, effectively bringing this “conspiracy theory” to the masses.
With that being said, is Black Mirror attempting to expose the truth to the masses or is it normalizing it through predictive programming? The same can be asked about the entire series: Is it warning viewers about the dangers of technology or is it preparing them to what’s to come?
One thing is for sure, everything produced by Netflix is fully in line with the elite’s agenda. For this episode, they’ve used their favorite pawn to act out her own slavery for “entertainment”.
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