I am of the mind that celebrities don't really owe fans anything... for the most part. For instance, it's a really cool gesture when stars take selfies and sign autographs with fans, but in no way are they obligated to do that. But, when it comes to fans shelling out a pretty penny to get to see their idols perform in concert, there most certainly is a literal debt to be paid. Which brings me to Justin Bieber's letter to his fans after walking off stage in the middle of a recent concert. Because, um, it doesn't seem like Biebs and I see things the same way.
As People relays, Bieber recently wrote a letter to fans explaining why he stormed off the stage at a recent show. But the letter — which Bieber posted on Twitter before deleting — is not an apology, not by a long shot. Biebs may be sorry about a lot of things, but he is not sorry about this. People relays that the letter said,
People tend to want to shut you down. What I mean by that is … people try to twist things, some people don’t want to listen. But I simply feel like, if I didn’t use this platform to say how I truly feel, and if I didn’t use this platform to be the man that I know I am, and speak from what’s in my heart, then I’m doing myself injustice, and I’m not doing anybody in this audience any justice.
There’s going to be times where I say the wrong thing, because I’m human. But I don’t pretend to be perfect and I hope to God that, you know, I don’t say the right thing all the time because if that was the case then I’d be a robot, and I’m just, I’m not a robot. There’s times when I get upset … times when I get angry, there’s times when I’m going to be frustrated. But I’m always going to be myself on this stage.
While I do appreciate Bieber's candidness and his willingness to discuss the not-so-cool happenings that took place at his show, I do think he missed the point. Yes, he may be exhausted. He may be tired emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and the tour is only adding to his fragile state. And you know what? Bieber may even be right about the screaming being grating. I, too, tend to cringe when I'm at a concert with a louder than usual audience. But that doesn't excuse his behavior, not in the slightest. If the screaming and pressure is becoming too much for him, why not have a disclaimer at the beginning of his show? Or have a heart-to-heart with his Beliebers about the issue on a social media platform?
As People points out, Bieber actually gave a speech at the concert after walking off stage, and that particular explanation on the topic was a lot better. He spoke about giving respect to his fans and how he felt that it wasn't mutual. He said, "I dedicate my life to this. I dedicate my life to performing, and I dedicate my life to try to bring smiles to people's faces. And when I feel like people just aren't giving me the same respect... that just kind of hurts me..."
If we want to talk about respect, though, we should probably talk about condescension first. Somewhere along the line, Biebs mistook himself as the Beliebers' keeper, so to speak. While it's in his right to be annoyed by the constant noise and excitement, it's definitely not his place to punish fans for it, either. Fans aren't inferior to their favorite stars and shouldn't be treated like misbehaving children. Bieber wasn't doing them a favor by performing. He was getting paid to do it and he failed to fully deliver on the service he promised to provide to them. Fans aren't stupid, and they don't appreciate their money being wasted. Bieber owes his fans an apology. After all, the customer is always right.