Justin Bieber has been catching the media’s eye quite a bit more than usual lately. This isn’t necessarily a good thing for the 19-year-old, heartthrob popstar, as his recent “Twitter meltdowns” and shirtless romping have him cast as a diva and a delinquent in many stories. On top of that, he was two hours late to a concert in London a few weeks ago.
When he was in London earlier in the month, Bieber had what he described in a tweet as “the worst bday” on March 1. Justin was allegedly thrown out of a club because he attempted to bring minors in with him, including Will Smith’s 14-year-old son, Jaden Smith. Bieber retorted on Twitter by saying the club was simply not good enough for him to bother with and that he would never bring minors into a club.
That same night, several photos were snapped of him walking around the city without his shirt on. He was criticized heavily for this by many people, including actress Olivia Wilde, who tweeted “Bieber, put your f***ing shirt on.”
Some of Bieber’s worst press came on March 4, when he was two hours late to a performance in London’s O2 Arena. Fans sobbed as they waited in vain for their idol to arrive. Many reasons have been cited for the tardiness. Some stories say his previous night was spent out late partying. Others say he threw a tantrum backstage and refused to go out. Bieber himself said that the reason behind his lateness was merely some “technical issues” and that he was only 40 minutes late, not two hours.
Regardless of the real reasons, Bieber made sure to be on time for the following night’s performance. Several days later, on March 11, Bieber was reportedly spotted in a coffee shop in Amsterdam smoking marijuana and eating “space cakes” that were also laced with the drug. This wasn’t the first time such reports have been made. Earlier this year a similar incident occurred, and Bieber even made an indirect P.R. statement during a Saturday Night Live appearance. He played the president of the Miley Cyrus Fan Club in one skit, making fun of his real-life self and saying “I also heard he got busted for smoking weed and he’s really sorry about it and people make mistakes and he’s never gonna do it again.”
Most recently, Justin has been in the news over a few social media meltdowns. On March 14, Bieber posted a lengthy rant on his Instagram and Twitter attacking the press, as well as Lindsay Lohan.
“I’m tired of all the countless lies in the press… saying I’m going to rehab and my family is so disappointed,” said Bieber in the posts. “If anyone believes I need rehab thats their own stupidity… I know my talent level and i know i got my head on straight… I’m a good person with a big heart. And I don’t think I deserve all this negative press I’ve worked my ass off to getwhere I am and my hard work doesn’t stop there. And to those comparing me to Lindsay Lohan, take a look at our 2012 tax statements (sic)”
The bit about Lohan has since been edited out, but lashing out at the media is very uncharacteristic of the Justin Bieber that people are used to. In the past, he would respond to negative press with cheerful messages telling his fans not to believe what they read and that to keep on believing in him. Nowadays, he seems to be less patient, lashing out at specific reports with harsh words. On March 6, he had a similar “meltdown” on Twitter:
“So make up stories about fake fines… or say when i came out of my show with my shirt off because after performing for 2 hours i might be sweaty… or any girl i stand next to is my girl… or that a 19 year old going to a club in europe is wild… (sic)”
Many worry that he risks seriously alienating his fans with his recent behavior. Some cite his recent breakup with Selena Gomez as a primary reason for his behavior. However, a few sources claim that he acted like this even when dating the “Spring Breakers” star; she was just always there to calm him down and keep him in check. Some say that the whole reason Gomez split up with Bieber was because she worried about his incessant partying. Whatever the reason, it is certain that Justin Bieber isn’t the same innocent kid he was when he first reached stardom.
Nicholas Cellucci is in the class of 2016 at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He is studying Mass Communications and is a BUnow staff writer in addition to serving as Executive Producer for BUnow Radio.