By now, you’ve probably seen a video of Justin Bieber walking off the stage at a show in Oslo, Norway. The Biebs was in the middle of wiping up liquid on stage when fans kept interfering and grabbing him. Biebs asked them to stop, and when they didn’t, he left, refusing to finish the show.
Fan taken video of Justin Bieber trying to wipe the water off stage minutes ago in Oslo, Norway. pic.twitter.com/GqVqZWVYlJ
— JustinBieberCrew.com (@JBCrewdotcom) October 29, 2015
Bieber posted an Instagram apology after the incident, saying that it’s been a “rough week” for him (he got media backlash yesterday for exiting a Spanish interview early). “I don’t always handle things the right way,” he wrote in the caption field, “but I’m human and I’m working on getting better at responding not reacting.”
What’s upsetting about this incident isn’t really how Bieber reacted, but rather, how the media is reacting to Bieber’s reaction. Take this headline from Rolling Stone, for example:
And this one from TMZ:
And finally, The Guardian’s:
Each of these headlines depicts an angry Bieber storming off the stage, a picture of Biebs that has become all too easy to paint. I’m not saying that Bieber didn’t look or sound angry in the video from the concert because he did. But I don’t think that the conversation surrounding his actions is entirely fair.
Bieber has been on a year-long mission to atone for his past bad boy antics, and by now, you have to know that he’s sorry. He’s given countless statements and interviews apologizing for his actions. His new single is literally called “Sorry,” and though the song isn’t directed at anyone in particular, it’s yet another instance of Biebs apologizing for the past in order to make way for a new future. He’s trying. He’s trying to restore his reputation, get back in the public’s good graces, and reinvent himself. But not everyone–and certainly not the media– seems to be rooting for him to do that just yet.
What I see when I watch the video of Bieber “storming off” the stage is someone who needs to be heard. Biebs even asks his fans if they’re listening to him, for crying out loud, before realizing that they aren’t. In that moment, he needed to be validated, to know that people would respect him wanting to clean the stage so that he could ultimately get back to performing, which is what he was there to do in the first place.
I see this same need to be validated when I look at Biebs’ Today show performance not too long ago, when he got upset that the cameras weren’t following him around. I see his need to be validated in the Snapchat story he posted when he straight up told fans that if he says that he doesn’t want to take a picture with them, he really means it. All Bieber seems to want is to be heard. Keep in mind that he’s only 21, by the way. He doesn’t have everything worked out yet, but like any normal human being, he does want a little respect. Since when is that asking too much?
Call me crazy, but I don’t think that it is. Depicting Bieber as pissed off and angry will probably get people to click on your headline, but it’s time to cut the shit. Think about the situation from Biebs’ perspective. If no one listened to you, wouldn’t you get a little pissed off from time to time?
I know I would.