People pay thousands for Zoom calls with celebrities

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(CNN) — Some bored and cooped-up celebrities (we’re using that term lightly) have apparently hit “Peak Quarantine” are now offering Zoom calls with fans for hundreds — and even thousands — of dollars.

Cameo, a startup that lets you pay celebrities for personal video messages, now lets users book a 10-minute Zoom call with, let’s say, well-known people. The costliest are former football star Brett Favre for $5,000, ex-NSYNC singer Lance Bass for $1,250 and skateboarder Tony Hawk for $1,000.

Sorry to fans of “Entourage”: Jeremy Piven went viral Monday for allegedly charging $15,000 for a call, but the booking option no longer appears on his profile.

Some Cameo-ers are priced in the bargain bin, too. They’re mostly cast members from reality shows, including “90 Day Fiancé,” “Survivor” and “Real Housewives of Orange County.” Their Zoom calls cost several hundred dollars.

Cameo, something of a modern-day version of getting a celebrity’s autograph without the pain of actually meeting them, has exploded as a business in its three years of existence. The company claims to have more than 30,000 people available (an indeterminate amount of those are actually celebrities, to be honest) and have fulfilled more than 1 million requests.

The company raised $50 million in fresh funding in 2019. Cameo takes a 25% cut of each message price, with the star getting the rest.

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