- Former One Direction star Louis Tomlinson said he won’t appear on BBC Breakfast again after being asked questions about his grief over the loss of his mother and sister.
- One of the interviewers apologized for upsetting the singer but defended the questions, which were related to a song on his new album.
- Despite much backlash from Tomlinson’s fans, BBC also issued a statement calling the questions “fair.”
Singer Louis Tomlinson vowed to never appear on BBC Breakfast again after a promotional interview for his debut solo album, Walls, included questions that made him uncomfortable.
During Monday morning’s show, journalists Dan Walker and Louise Minchin asked about how personal loss influenced his music, mentioning the deaths of his mother and sister. Tomlinson’s mother, Johanna, died of leukemia in December 2016 and his 18-year-old sister Félicité died after an accidental drug overdose just last March.
“Is there a point at which you write that stuff –and it is quite clearly from the heart when people listen to the music– do you feel that at some stage ‘I’ve put too much of myself in there’ or is that part of helping you in writing that way as well about the loss of your mom and your sister and other things?” Walker asked.
Tomilson explained that because he started his career on X-Factor, with cameras around him from such an early time, he’s always given a lot of himself. “It’s kind of all I know in my career really, so I almost use that to my advantage, you know I’m brave enough to talk about these things,” he continued.
Minchin then added, “and you talk about grief don’t you in ‘Two of Us’’ and that’s had quite an impact I understand on fans as well actually.” The singer agreed and talked about how special it is for him to see the emotional weight of this song and what the lyrics mean to different people.
Immediately after, Minchin asked about his relationship with former bandmate Zayn Malik. “You’ve had a bit of a spat with Zayn. How’s that going?” she asked.
“God, you’re proper going in it today aren’t you?” Tomlinson responded. When Walker explained that people would be interested to know the answer to this question, Louis said, “Yeah they will but people pick off on every little thing I say and, look I’m just not ready to have that conversation yet. I think that’s fair enough.”
When the presenters raised the possibility of a 1D reunion, the singer’s frustration became even more apparent. “You’ve ticked them all off now. You’ve got trauma, Zayn, and now we’re finally on this one.” However, Tomlinson eventually conceded, saying, “I’ll give you the answer I give everyone else. It’s inevitable. I don’t know when. We don’t know when. I think we’d be stupid not to get back together, but we don’t know. I’ve only just made my first album.”
BBC Defends Interview Questions
After the segment aired, Tomlinson told his 33.5 million Twitter followers: “Defo won’t be going on there again Haha! Love to all my fans for always having my back.”
When Walker saw the posts, he said he was sorry that Tomlinson felt that way and asked what specifically made him upset.
Tomlinson explained that he was “upset that you continued to ask me about my grief. It goes without saying how hard it is to lose both people so close to me.”
“The least I ask is that you respect my decision of not wanting to be asked in interviews about something so painful.” he continued. “I’m lucky enough to have a creative outlet for me to talk about grief this doesn’t however, give you the right to talk about it for gossip purposes.”
I was upset that you continued to ask me about my grief. It goes without saying how hard it is to lose both people so close to me. The least I ask is that you respect my decision of not wanting to be asked in interviews about something so painfull.— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) February 3, 2020
I'm lucky enough to have a creative outlet for me to talk about grief this doesn't however give you the right to talk about it for gossip purposes.— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) February 3, 2020
However, Walker defended the line of questioning, tweeting back. “We were asking you about the song on your new album about your mum. We know it’s painful which is why we didn’t dwell on it. No intention to upset you or be ‘gossipy’ about it at all. That’s not our style on #BBCBreakfast.
Hi Louis. We were asking you about the song on your new album about your mum. We know it’s painful which is why we didn’t dwell on it. No intention to upset you or be ‘gossipy’ about it at all. That’s not our style on #BBCBreakfast.— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) February 3, 2020
The singer’s tweets seemed to suggest that he or his team has previously made the show aware of topics he did not want to discuss. When one Twitter user told Walker that he should respect Tomlinson’s limits, Walker responded saying, “Totally understand that – which is why we checked. We were told by his team that he didn’t want a picture of his mum on screen (which we didn’t do) and he wouldn’t mention her specifically but would talk about grief more generally. Which is why we asked the 2 questions.”
Another fan said the questions were not general since they specifically mentioned his mother and sister, to which Walker responded: “I get that you know his life inside out but lots of people don’t. We mentioned his loss to make it clear what we were talking about to those watching who weren’t aware what he’d been through. He was on for about 9 minutes and we asked him 2 questions about grief & moved on.”
A BBC spokesperson also told several media outlets: “We wanted to cover all aspects of Louis’s life that have influenced his new album and feel the questioning was fair.”
The incident has resulted in a ton of internet backlash against the BBC reporters, with some fans accusing the show of exploiting his grief and not asking enough questions about the album.
See what others are saying: (CNN) (Paper Magazine) (HuffPost)
Britney Spears Asks For Privacy After Fans Called Cops to Conduct a Wellness Check on Her
Fans said they were concerned after the singer deleted her Instagram account.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was updated to include a statement from Britney Spears
Fans Call 911
Britney Spears said her fans “went a little too far” after some called the police to conduct a wellness check on her.
The fans, many fueled by online conspiracy theories, were concerned about Spears because she deleted her Instagram account. While this is something the singer has done multiple times in the past, her fans thought she had left secret signals in her last post suggesting she needed help.
Some even posted videos of them calling emergency services on TikTok, a platform that is full of conspiracy videos about Spears.
“I love and adore my fans but this time things went a little too far and my privacy was invaded,” Spears wrote in a statement on Thursday, citing “prank phone calls” that were made to police.
According to Spears, officers did not enter her home because once they got to her gate, they “quickly realized there was no issue and left immediately.”
“This felt like I was being gaslit and bullied once the incident made it to the news and being portrayed once again in a poor and unfair light by the media,” Spears continued. “During this time in my life, I truly hope the public and my fans who I care so much about can respect my privacy moving forward.”
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Ventura County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Page Six that the department “did get calls into our dispatch” but added there was no reason to believe that Spears was “in any kind of harm or any kind of danger.”
That spokesperson declined to say if officials contacted Spears or conducted a wellness check, citing privacy and public trust issues.
The Prominence of Britney Spears Conspiracies
Just over a year has passed since Spears was freed from a highly restrictive conservatorship that controlled her life and finances for 13 years. Throughout the conservatorship, fans tried to use the pop icon’s social media to pick up clues that she was secretly struggling. She did not publicly speak about the conservatorship until the summer of 2021.
Now that she has her freedom, fans are still reading heavily into her posts. Some believe there are hidden messages in her captions and in the gestures she does while dancing. Others think she is dead, missing, or hiding and that a body double is being used in her posts. Some are so concerned that they are coordinating a mass effort to pressure the Los Angeles Times into investigating Spears’ whereabouts and safety.
In the last several years, many have reflected on Spears’ early days in the spotlight and the cruel ways she was harassed and targeted by paparazzi, news outlets, and culture at large. Often the punchline to a joke throughout the 2000s, many now sympathize with Spears, who was forced to endure heavy public scrutiny at a young age. Documentaries like “Framing Britney Spears” prompted many to see Spears as a victim of abusive media tactics, not the “crazy” woman tabloids painted her to be.
Many are now concerned that fans are only going to subject Spears to a new onslaught of harassment by calling the police to her house. Even if the conspiracy theories are technically well-intentioned and often come from a place of concern, some believe they will jumpstart a media frenzy that could harm Spears’ mental well-being.
Razzies Apologize For Nominating 12-Year-Old, Adopt Age Rules For Future Nominations
The group’s founder said the Razzies regret “any hurt” the young actress may have “experienced as a result of our choices.”
Razzies Face Backlash
The Razzie Awards revoked its “insensitive” nomination of 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong and added new guidelines banning child performers from being nominated in the future.
The Razzies, which award the year’s worst movies, included Armstrong in its “Worst Actress” lineup for her role in “Firestarter.” Bryce Dallas Howard, Diane Keaton, Kaya Scodelario, and Alicia Silverstone were also nominated in the category.
Armstrong starred alongside Zac Efron in “Firestarter,” an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. The picture received a 10% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
While the film was broadly panned, many thought it was a bridge too far to nominate a child for a bad acting award.
“The Razzies are already mean-spirited & classless, but to nominate a kid is just repulsive & wrong,” child star Julian Hilliard, best known for his work in “WandaVision,” tweeted. “Why put a kid at risk of increased bullying or worse? Be better.”
Actor and podcast host Brandon Hardesty said the nomination was “completely ignorant and cynical.”
“They have no clue what this can do to a child actress who probably considered her starring role in FIRESTARTER as a high point in her life,” he wrote.
“That girl was the best part of that mess of a movie,” film critic Shannon McGrew tweeted. “And on top of that, no kid should ever be nominated for an award that punches down on them.”
Razzies founder John Wilson addressed the backlash in a statement to the press on Wednesday, calling the criticism “valid.”
“Sometimes, you do things without thinking, Then you are called out for it. Then you get it,” Wilson said. “It’s why the Razzies were created in the first place.”
“We have removed Armstrong’s name from the Final Ballot that our members will cast next month,” he continued. “We also believe a public apology is owed Ms. Armstrong, and wish to say we regret any hurt she experienced as a result of our choices.”
In addition to removing Armstrong’s nomination, The Razzies is now adopting “a Voting Guideline precluding any performer or film-maker under 18 years of age from being considered” for awards.
“Since our motto is ‘Own Your Bad,’ we realize that we ourselves must also live up to it,” the statement closed.
While Armstrong will be the last child to nab a Razzie nomination, she was far from the first. Jake Lloyd made the list for his turn as young Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.” Gary Coleman and Macaulay Culkin also got nominations as teenagers.
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (The Hollywood Reporter) (People)
SeatGeek CEO Calls to Break up Ticketmaster and Live Nation in Senate Hearing Following Taylor Swift Debacle
“A lack of robust competition in our industry meaningfully stunts innovation, and consumers are who suffer,” Jack Groetzinger said.
Two months after technical difficulties blocked countless Taylor Swift fans from snagging seats to her tour, a bipartisan group of Senators held a hearing to re-examine the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster.
The two entertainment giants merged in 2010. Jack Groetzinger, the CEO of the rival ticket-selling platform SeatGeek, said during Tuesday’s hearing that the two need to be broken up to benefit consumers.
“One, a lack of robust competition in our industry meaningfully stunts innovation, and consumers are who suffer,” he said. “Two, venues fear losing Live Nation concerts if they don’t use Ticketmaster, and three, the only way to restore competition in this industry is to break up Ticketmaster and Live Nation.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) echoed concerns about the lack of competition, arguing that Live Nation is the “definition of monopoly.”
“Live Nation is so powerful that it doesn’t even need to exert pressure, it doesn’t need to threaten, because people just fall in line,” she said.
The Eras Tour Debacle
Ticketmaster has long been accused of price-gouging and complicating the ticket-buying process. Those issues made international headlines in November during the presale for Swift’s highly anticipated Era’s Tour.
Millions of fans who attempted to enter Ticketmaster’s virtual queue walked away empty-handed after experiencing crashes, price inflation, and a myriad of other issues.
According to Ticketmaster, the incredibly high demand, coupled with an onslaught of bot attacks, forced the platform to slow sales down. After the company delayed sales in certain cities and canceled the general sale altogether, Swift called the ordeal “excruciating.”
“We asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of demand and we were assured they could,” she wrote on Instagram in November.
The controversy prompted many to accuse Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, of holding a monopoly over the concert and live events industry. The U.S. Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into the entertainment giant.
Ticketmaster Takes Heat
Ticketmaster has repeatedly tried to blame a number of factors for the failed Swift presale, even at one point suggesting the sale was too popular because the “Anti-Hero” singer waited so long to tour.
“May I suggest, respectfully, that Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem, it’s me,’” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said during the hearing.
Still, the company continued to point the finger at record-breaking bot attacks.
“We knew bots would attack at onsale and planned accordingly. We were then hit with three times the amount of bot traffic that we’d ever experienced,” Live Nation CFO Joe Berchtold said on Capitol Hill.
“The attack requires [us] to slow down and even pause our sales. This is what led to a terrible consumer experience we deeply regret. We apologize to the fans, we apologize to Miss Swift, we need to do better and we will do better,” he continued.
Others present at the hearing were not happy with Live Nation’s bot defense. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said that she has worked with companies in a variety of industries that deal with bots without these issues.
“You know what, they get bot attacks every single day by the thousands. By the thousands,” she said. “And they have figured it out, but you guys haven’t? This is unbelievable.”
“You can’t blame bots for what happened to Taylor Swift,” JAM Productions CEO Jerry Mickelson added. “There’s more to that story that you’re not hearing.”
According to Mickelson, Ticketmaster can actually stand to benefit from glitchy sales on its platform.
“The process, when it’s slowed down, increases the money that Ticketmaster makes because they make money on fees and as the ticket prices go up due to dynamically priced tickets, Ticketmaster makes more off that,” he claimed. “So it’s to their advantage to slow the process down.”
Outrage against Ticketmaster has become so widespread that Sen. Blumenthal said the company was responsible for “an absolutely stunning achievement.”
“You have brought together Republicans and Democrats in an absolutely unified cause.”