Bullying Bieber

e8714b53-ef27-4a54-a7b9-8a4335132d59_Justin-Bieber-fight-lashes-out-paparazzi-london-photographerI am not a fan of Justin Bieber. I’ve never knowingly heard one of his songs. I thought keeping the fans waiting for however long it was – 40 minutes? 2 hours? – last week was absolutely appalling. But then last night, I saw a tweet that said

Justin Bieber: “I’ll never come back to the UK”. WE DID IT, BRITAIN.

And it bothered me. Imagine Justin Bieber wasn’t 19, but 9. And it wasn’t Britain, but school. He turned up, full of himself, acting like a twerp (the word Go Fug Yourself decided was the perfect one to describe him). People called him a “fucking cock” and a “fucking moron”. He reacted (wouldn’t you?). He struggled to breathe. He went to hospital. Then he (or rather his parents) decided they’d have to take him out of the school. And the school children said, “WE DID IT!”

I ran this past David and he said, “Yeah, but he was getting paid…” Does that make it okay to call him a “fucking cock/moron” to his face and expect him not to react? Isn’t that still bullying? David said that at school, yeah, it would be, but in this case no. Because he’s a twerp. So it’s okay to bully people you don’t like? People who annoy you? People who are full of themselves? People who don’t live up to their professional responsibilities?

What if, I suggested, it was at work and not school. A 19-year-old turns up, full of himself, acting like a twerp. The next day he’s 40 minutes late. People call him a “fucking cock/moron” and when he reacts they laugh. He goes to hospital. They roll their eyes because, god, he’s only just started work and he’s already off ill? He decides not to come back. And everyone cheers. I’m still not seeing how this isn’t bullying.

Caro Moses wrote a brilliant post for Bea about the “culture of bullying” in relation to Mary Beard. Many people were (rightly) angry about what happened to Beard because she seems lovely and we like her. But it’s fine to bully Bieber right out of the country because he seems like a bit of a git? I’m not convinced.


8 thoughts on “Bullying Bieber

  1. Totally agree with this article. I read an online news report last night and was appalled by many of the comments. I too think he acted like a twerp, however I don’t know that he is an idiot generally! Many of the comments were rude, insulting, aggressive, vindictive and generally nasty. Worst, they were condoning the aggressive, taunting attitude of the press.Yes, he behaved badly on the night of his concert but that doesn’t mean he should be bullied in such a mean spirited vindictive way. It puts the aggressors on a lower level than him.

    1. Thank you. Oh I don’t either – I know very little about him – my point is that even if he is an idiot that still doesn’t make it ok to bully him (which seemed to be my husband’s argument!).

      1. Totally with you, Keris. No matter how much of a twerp someone is, bullying is never an appropriate response.

  2. Totally agree with you, Keris. The perception is that this is the price of fame, abuse is something to be expected when you are successful, but I wonder how people would feel if it was them being called a moron to their face, or their child?

    I understand that the press routinely abuse celebrities to get a reaction, and the celeb is expected to rise above it, as though being famous stops them from feeling hurt or threatened. But it doesn’t mean it’s OK. And we definitely shouldn’t join in.

  3. This is so sad. I’m not a huge fan, but I kinda support the kid as he’s from so near my hometown and I spoke to him about it when he first toured here. He was polite, down to earth and so darn cute!

    I know he was late to the gig, but the next day he apologised profusely for it. His fans mean everything to him and for the bullies to make him feel so unwelcome that he says he’ll never come back, well it’s just sad. The guy is 19… Leave him alone and let him do what he does best, make the girls (and my male cousin) swoon…

    1. You’re actually the second person I know who’s met him and found him really lovely. But it’s not even about that – this behaviour wouldn’t be okay even if he was completely awful, IMO.

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