Paramore’s Hayley Williams has expressed regret and apologized for the way she removed two arguing concert-goers from one of the band’s recent shows in a pensive note uploaded to Discord. “I am sorry for whatever shame or embarrassment I may have caused you,” she wrote.
Footage of the confrontation at the Madison Square Garden gig showed the spotlighted attendees at a loss for words when Williams told them they needed “to find somewhere else to take care of that shit because that’s not happening here tonight, this is our house.”
Williams has routinely dedicated a portion of the band’s “This is Why” tour stops to encourage fans to be themselves in the safety and comfortability of their shows, and she wasted no time in making a similar statement at the band’s appearance in New York.
“Yes, I will embarrass both of you. Both of you need to find somewhere else to take care of that shit because that’s not happening here,” Williams told the misbehaving fans.
In the Discord statement posted days after the altercation, Williams laid out her regrets in writing after having seen the videos that have flooded apps like TikTok where fans and spectators applauded Williams and the band for removing the fans from the show.
“Without the opportunity for a proper back and forth (and with a looming, strict show-curfew in the back of my mind), I bared my teeth like a mother wolf,” Williams wrote. “I embarrassed the hell out of these two people, without truly knowing what the situation was. Then, as a group – all 25,000 of us or so – exiled these people from the show in record time.”
She said she had not been able to “shake the feeling that I abused my responsibility and my platform in that moment,” and proceeded to personally apologize to the pair.
“When I saw their faces in the video, I didn’t see the smug smiles that some commenters criticized them for,” she said. “I saw embarrassment and I cried for them. I’m telling you, I haven’t stopped thinking about it. So, if you are those two people… I am sorry for whatever shame or embarrassment I may have caused you. I’m not telling you that it’s perfectly fine to act entitled or ignorant at a show … I’m just saying that I’m sorry that I handled the whole situation like the arbiter of the same type of cancel culture that doesn’t often teach or lead in any productive way.”
The post also touched on Williams’ own personal experiences that she says “triggered” her initial response, along with the pressure to “protect the familial spaces we are co-creating with audiences around the world,” she said. “It feels like my duty to help people feel a sense of safety and belonging enough to let go and be completely present at a Paramore show.”
Elsewhere in the post, Williams also referenced a statement she told her audiences while headlining Adjacent Music Festival last weekend. “I’m very fucking comfortable talking politics, and if you vote for [Republican presidential candidate] Ron DeSantis, you’re fucking dead to me,” she said at the time.
Reflecting on the inflamed statement, Williams said: “I hate that the only thing I really know to say to people I deem racist or bigoted in any way is ‘you’re dead to me’ when I know that message isn’t the kind that’s going to change a hateful heart.“
Looking ahead, Williams closed her note by reminding her fans that she doesn’t “want us to have to stop a show for physical aggression ever again,” and said she would “still have a person removed if necessary. I’ll just try with all my heart not to make it seem like some biblical era public execution next time.”
Post source: variety