The White House has been having a bit of a love affair with new media stars recently. Last spring, President Obama invited a handful of YouTube’s most recognizable creators to join him for a private round table discussion about using new media to reach young people. YouTubers have been personally tapped by the administration to help get the word out about important initiatives like the Affordable Care Act and the Let’s Move Campaign. More recently, Hank Green, Glozell, and Bethany Mota had the opportunity to interview the President and Michelle Phan accompanied First Lady Michelle Obama to Japan to support the launch of her Let Girls Learn initiative. New media personalities are becoming a familiar part of the Washington media landscape, so it’s no surprise that a handful of YouTube and Vine stars were on hand this weekend for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
This time it was Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of the Huffington Post, who chose to put digital creators front and center. Huffington invited YouTubers Tyler Oakley, Bethany Mota, Viners Nash Grier and Marcus Johns, and crown prince of Snapchat Jerome Jarre to join the HuffPo table at this years Correspondents Dinner, along with Serial host Sarah Koenig, Napster founder Sean Parker, blogger Heather Armstrong, and hip-hop artist Killer Mike. Also in attendance, Grace Helbig, though the YouTube comedy star owed her invite to her new show at E! rather than to Huffington.
With their huge followings on social media, stars like Oakley, Mota, Johns, Grier, Jarre and Helbig all arguably have a wider reach than many of the mainstream media professionals in attendance. However, it’s still somewhat rare to see internet stars rubbing elbows with mainstream celebrities, let alone at a gala event like the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The invitation is a nod from the establishment confirming that online video and social media stars have arrived. Furthermore, everyone was looking appropriately sharp. Check out these pictures we rounded up from the event’s red carpet: