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Why are we so convinced that Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri are together?

The general public seems to have forgotten what a friendship looks like

Why are we so convinced that Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri are together? The general public seems to have forgotten what a friendship looks like

Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri are the stars of the moment. They are young, attractive, talented, and frequently attend the most admired events in Hollywood, with designers vying to dress them. They are the leads in one of the most acclaimed TV series (by both audiences and critics) of the moment, The Bear. Their characters, Sydney and Carmy, have a certain on-screen tension, and viewers are eagerly hoping that in the third season this tension between colleagues and friends will turn into something more. As often happens, speculation about their relationship has quickly spilled over from the small screen into their personal lives. Setting aside our parasocial issues and the general tendency to imagine that people we like are together (secretly or not, but it’s not essential), this bit of gossip prompts us to reflect on another issue. Are we forgetting what friendship looks like?

Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri at the Baseball Game

These rumors - despite knowing virtually nothing about Ayo Edebiri’s love life and despite Allen White reportedly being linked to singer Rosalía for some months - have exploded, fueled by a video. In this clip, taken just a few days ago, we see the two actors sitting together at a baseball game. He puts a hand on her back, seemingly to comfort her. She looks ahead, opening a bottle of something, probably water. At one point, it looks like he asks her something. She responds with a gesture, and Allen White moves his hand from her back to the backrest of her stadium seat. End of story. No kisses, no holding hands. Just two people sitting close together, with one hand on a back. This contact, according to some, is concrete and undeniable proof that the two are in a relationship or want us to believe so to promote the show.

Friendship Between Men and Women, and in General

It’s natural to wonder what friendship means, what value we place on non-sexual physical contact, and if we even consider its existence. The fact that Jeremy and Ayo are male and female, and the fact that they play characters who could be romantically involved on screen, certainly affects perceptions. But perhaps we need to reconsider the possibility of a close friendship between colleagues and friends that doesn’t necessarily lead to romance, because life isn’t a TV series. It’s unclear if this is a pure desire to speculate about nothing or a genuine loss of habit in touching and hugging, which may or may not be linked to the pandemic and our increasingly intensive social media lives that detach us from reality. A reality where men and women can be friends (regardless of the truth behind Allen White and Edebiri’s relationship) and where friends touch, hug, and comfort each other. Is that really so strange?