FluentlyForward is TikTok's celebrity gossip guru
The TikTokker and podcaster has a soft spot for conspiracy theories.
Embedded readers may recognize Shannon McNamara as an inspiration behind our piece about TikTok and turning 30. —Kate
As soon as anything happens in pop culture, Shannon McNamara has a take on it. And if you’re anything like me, it’s often the one take that makes you feel a little bit more sane amongst a sea of chaotic TikTok and Twitter discussion. The creator posts under the username FluentlyForward, which is also the name of her podcast about celebrity blind items and pop culture theories—conspiracy theories, more often than not.
“I remember, maybe it was just a year and a half ago, I saw a blind item about Addison Rae on Crazy Days and Nights,” McNamara tells me over Zoom. “So I made a TikTok video about it because I was like, ‘Wow, how crazy is it that they're doing blind items on TikTokkers now. Has anyone seen this?’ I just assumed more people read blind items and their response instead was like, ‘What is a blind item? What is this website? How does it work?’ So things just kind of spun off from there.”
Now, with over 365,000 TikTok followers, McNamera is an authority on everything from the alleged romance between Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss to what people think really happened with Jeffrey Epstein. But this wasn’t always her beat.
“I used to blog [about comedy and lifestyle] for like five years before anything really popped off on TikTok,” she says. “It’s interesting how so many creators [pivot]—like Emily Mariko used to do fashion, but now she does cooking, and I think the Celebrity Memoir Book Club girls had like three podcasts before that. So I always think it's funny when people get big in their fourth year.”
McNamera works full time in marketing at a tech company and wakes up early to do research for her podcast and posts. While she’s made a few hundred dollars from TikTok and has the occasional sponsor for the podcast, the FluentlyForward endeavor is largely just a passion project.
In this interview for paid subscribers, we chatted about how social media has changed celebrity gossip, the responsibilities that come with leading these discussions, and the celebrity conspiracy theory she just can’t let go of.
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