As we approach the end of 2023, it is time to reflect on some of the most memorable and fool-tastic behaviors of the year. Without further delay, the top five recipients of the Shut Up Fool Awards in 2023.

In fifth place is a well-known TV star who’s made a career of false promises– on and off his shows. The former president made many public appearances this year, while on trial and never at a debate. We finally heard him say he lost his race for re-election, but he remains in good standing with many– because, well, fans.       

India Arie takes fourth place on our list for making anti-black comments about fellow artists at Essence Fest. Her remarks were widely criticized by fans and other artists, but she only dug in further, promising to bring the same critical energy until we change. 

Third place goes to high-profile entertainment crasher Lauren Boebert, who had to be escorted out of Beetlejuice for “inappropriate behavior” with her date. The two were caught on video vaping, making too much noise, and– as the Guardian put it– “eagerly groping” each other in the theater. The consequences for her behavior should be a reminder that people of influence are not above the law and public decency. This incident, however, did not result in significant damage to her career or reputation; Lauren already did that on her own. 

JKKK Rowling is the second-place recipient for making a series of anti-trans remarks while supporting Elon “Cis’Slur” Musk’s statement that cisgender would be considered a slur according to X’s terms of use. Rowling provides a reminder that our words and actions have an impact– especially those of us with powerful platforms. That lesson, ironically, is part of her “best-selling” formula, and the principle on which she has built her abundant privilege. 

Finally, the most-deserving recipient of the Shut Up Fool Award in 2023, George Santos, who has been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements, falsification of records, aggravated identity theft, and credit card fraud. Next stop on his political career: Orange is the new Black. Such a stunt queen.  

What do you think about this lineup? Do you see someone missing? Maybe a remix of this top five? The year is not over, and there’s plenty of time for a fool to fool. Please let us know who would be in your top five, or tell us about that one thing that one fool did that had you like YOOO.

Next week, we will award a fool of the year.  

The past few months gave us quite a bit of entertainment. I cannot believe we will be so much closer to 2024, preparing for a new year of new– or maybe familiar– awardees.