When we go to concerts, being in the same room with our favorite artist almost feels unreal. We sing along and scream our praise, trying to gain a connection in any way possible, even if we’re just screaming “I love you!” into a sea of a thousand other fans. While performers are often too focused on their main task at hand to tune in, they’ll occasionally pick up on what the crowd’s saying.
Last weekend, Halsey was performing and about to sing her hit single, “Without Me.” She was wrapping up an emotional monologue when a heckler began shouting her ex’s name. The crowd was quiet as she delivered her lines, but his repetitive shouting did not cease.
She abruptly ended her speech and began yelling back, finding the man in the crowd and directly confronting him. “If you say G-Eazy one more f—-ing time, I will kick you out of this party,” she threatened. While many like myself thought it was quite a power move on her part, the rest of the internet didn’t think so.
you don’t scream out the name of the man who was trash and cheated on halsey at her own concert. that was disrespected and she handled that like a queen pic.twitter.com/N8mPqCRiBi
— 𝙀𝘿𝙈 𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙖𝙣 𝙂𝙧𝙚𝙮 (@RLGRIMEY) February 2, 2020
Many were quick to lash back online, claiming her reaction was irrational and even threatening, to an extent. All she did was raise her voice, though. She did not jump into the crowd, and she did not hit him with a microphone. To sum it up: the only thing she did was tell him off. Many can’t wrap their heads around the fact that she was just defending herself, though.
like wow you are gonna kick me out of a concert i paid for just bc i said your ex’s name??I would like to see how that turns out.She is fucking Halsey she shouldn’t be triggered just by hearing his ex’s name.She should have acted more mature about it thats not how you handle it.
— derin🌡 (@24kderin) February 2, 2020
Halsey is bald and unhinged again. pic.twitter.com/s40BP6NpiS
— Jacob. (@JacobBITCHING) February 2, 2020
It seems like she just can’t win. After the release of “You Should Be Sad,” an angry, country-pop revenge song off her latest album, Manic, the internet deemed her petty yet again. It directly addressed G-Eazy as an empty, abusive cheater and seemingly put him in his place, which surprised many. What people found so shocking was her bluntness and lack of filter, especially when discussing a male counterpart. When male artists, specifically rappers like G-Eazy himself, call girls ‘b*tches’ and ‘wh*res’ after breakups, everyone thinks that their music is “savage,” that it’s raw and expository. But when Halsey exposes an actual toxic abuser, she’s unhinged and unprofessional as an artist.
It doesn’t end there, though. She isn’t just barred from expressing her emotions and trauma in her music. She’s expected to jump to the next relationship. The public claims that she should move on already, but when she moved on to Yungblud, then Evan Peters, she was slut-shamed. She is constantly torn between moving on already or clinging onto her current relationship. Twitter still gets mad either way.
But don’t let the inherent sexism behind this situation fool you. Of course, that’s an influencing factor of the backlash, the public’s tendency to deem women ‘petty’ and ‘crazy’ after a breakup, but it’s not the main cause of it. There’s another underlying reason why celebrities like Halsey are treated like this, and it’s the general apathy we have developed as a society, especially online.
We wonder why she is so upset, but we don’t even consider how that situation must feel. The only thing we see is a musician failing to sing her top hits. We don’t see a human who has endured serial cheating and months of abuse. There is a lack of human empathy in the internet’s callous reaction towards her. She is supposed to feel free to express herself and safe on stage, surrounded by fans.
People like this heckler invade that space and rehash wounds that have taken months to heal—wounds that will never heal. The internet claims it’s her job to carry on, perhaps because he paid to see her live or simply because, as a celebrity, she owes the man that much.
The kicker is: the show was free, and she isn’t a performing robot. She had every right to express her feelings—he harassed her for absolutely no reason while she was trying to perform her job, yet we’re mad at her.
there’s always going to be hecklers, she should prob seek therapy if her ex’s name triggers her that bad. 🥴
— Michael Martinez (@mikemartinezz) February 2, 2020
The general public cannot handle the fact that celebrities, usually women, actually strike back when they’re constantly harassed. No one wants someone harassing them in their workplace, we, as a society, have learned that the hard way over the past few years (#MeToo Movement much?). This is her professional environment, yet she is being harassed. At concerts and on the red carpets, stars are treated like inanimate objects, with unsolicited comments and screams coming from every direction.
People say that it’s a performer’s job to ignore the comments—that it’s her job to carry on while someone screams her toxic ex’s name in her ear—but they cannot imagine being in the same situation. Anyone would snap after a certain point. Considering the number of G-Eazy fans and hecklers she’s faced, it’s amazing Halsey has gone so long without this kind of reaction. We forget that performers and celebrities are humans, not statues. It does not register when we scream our praise and our hate towards them, and so it scares and angers us when they actually do acknowledge us.
We place celebrities on a pedestal—we make them inhuman and untouchable. The public forgets that they have trauma and emotions, and when they actually show it, we’re confused and sometimes even angry. We feel that it’s okay to scream hurtful things—to scream demeaning or sexual comments, to interrupt them during emotional speeches.
In a personal conversation, we would never do such things. We claim it’s different when we do it to celebrities because they’re simply not like us. But the thing is: they are. We hesitate to scream about someone’s ex or ask them to take their top off to their face, solely because they’re a human with emotions who would think we’re absolute weirdos.
The person on the stage is no different than a stranger passing us on the street or the co-worker sitting next to us. Just because they hold the title ‘public figure’ does not mean they have given up all human rights to privacy and respect, but society can’t seem to get that notion through its thick skull.
Featured image via Halsey