On Saturday night Harry Styles played the ‘We Can Survive’ event at the Hollywood Bowl, and soon after the show as over, a video surfaced of Harry making his way to the mosh pit to kneel in front of fans and sing enthusiastically to ‘Kiwi.’
In the video, despite all of the hands and camera shaking, one hand can be seen reaching forward and grabbing Harry’s crotch. Still singing, Harry shoves her hands away and gets up pretty quickly, walking away from the mosh pit.
A concertgoer who witnessed the groping wrote on Tumblr,
“You can tell it freaked him out a little because as he continued performing, he avoided that section the fan was standing in.”
Outrage swept over Twitter and Tumblr as fans spoke out about the disgusting act using the hashtag #RespectHarry.
Fandoms can sometimes perpetuate dangerous and inappropriate behavior, especially the 1D fandom.
One Direction’s management stopped Harry and Louis Tomlinson from standing next to each other in interviews or on stage because fans were so obsessed with shipping them. Louis tweeted about in 2012, and he’s said it was disrespectful to his girlfriend and even hurt his friendship with Harry.
And Harry’s had more on-stage incidents, including one where a fan threw their water bottle at him and it hit him in the crotch.
Some crazed fans don’t see a boundary between themselves and the person they idolize, especially when that person is right in front of them. They think they can grab them inappropriately for a funny story to tell later; they think because they play the artist’s music in their cars and watch videos 24/7 that they know this person, and touching them isn’t a violation.
But what this fan did was sexual assault, and it can’t be spun into something else. It was gross and immature and unjustifiable.
There has got to be a clearer line between being a fan of an artist and being ridiculously inappropriate. I’m sure Harry Styles has been exhausted by this for years.
Anne Catherine Demere is an intern with Femestella. She is almost too passionate about pop culture and the entertainment industry and she loves to write about it. One of her favorite things is when feminism and pop culture overlap. She’s either starting a new TV show or in class, there’s no in between. And those two rarely coincide.