Justin Bieber’s wild ride from superstar to pop culture firestarter has brought comment from celebrities on both sides of the fence, from Joel McHale, Vanilla Ice, Miley Cyrus, Bill Burr, Mark Wahlberg and Joe Jonas to name just a few.
Now, a line-up of heavyweights have stepped into the Bieber fray.
Markedly more supportive than say Seth Rogen’s “Justin Bieber is a piece of s**t,” tweet, these heavyweights were less about slamming Bieber’s alleged jet hotboxing, Lamborghini-packing, alleged egg-throwing world tour, and more about offering support.
First up, iconic Brazilian, multi-million selling author, Paulo Coelho, best known for his novel The Alchemist.
The 66-year-old tweeted a supportive message to the 19-year-old late Sunday, writing:
Pundits who criticize @justinbieber forget that our musical icons used to do the same, and we loved
— Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) February 10, 2014
It’s not known which pundits Paulo is referring to, but in the case of Bieber it’s take your pick. SNL, Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno — the teen star has been a punchline for each.
Reaction to the 19-year-old’s exploits has morphed from the localized outrage that greeted his late opening show at London’s 02 Arena in March, to the over 250,000 signees to a We The Petition calling on the US government to deport the singer — with a straight face.
Coehlo isn’t the only one advising less judgement and more compassion when it comes to Bieber
In a recent interview, the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, was asked how she would parent Bieber if given the role.
“I would pull him close. You know, I don’t know if it would be advice as much as action,” she told Univision Radio host Enrique Santos.
“I would be very present in his life right now. And I would be probably with him a good chunk of the time, just there to talk, to figure out what’s going on in his head, to figure out who’s in his life and who’s not, you know,” she added.
Ms. Obama wasn’t asked about the We The People petition, but as the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declared last week, a response is due “relatively soon.”
The petition was launched January 23, the same day Bieber’s arrest and later charge for an alleged DUI and other counts went around the world. Among other things, the petition creator slammed the singer as “dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing.”
No such damnation issued from Obama, who repeated her belief that what Justin needs is what her own kids need — attention.
“I found that to be the case with my kids,” the mom-in-chief continued.
“They just want you near, you know — they want that advice from a parent. They want to see you on a daily basis, you know, because the thing is he’s still a kid. He’s still growing up. So, I would pull him close.”
Moving on to Stephen King. A legendary horror writer known for his insightful take on the best, and worst, of human nature.
With a suitably chilling tweet posted the same day as Bieber’s alleged DUI arrest, amid wall to wall coverage around the world — King wrote:
Memo to Justin Bieber: For the young celeb, life is a banquet of free food. What they don’t tell you is that you are often the last course. — Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 24, 2014
And so to Rosie O’Donnell who brought warmth and common sense to her highly-anticipated return to The View last Friday.
Asked to hold court on various topics of the day including the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death and Dylan Farrow’s sex abuse accusations at her estranged father, noted film director Woody Allen, O’Donnell was also asked for her thoughts on Bieber.
Weighing in on Bieber’s legal challenges — which include a DUI arrest, a charge for alleged assault, and a possible felony charge arising from an alleged egging attack on his neighbor’s home — O’Donnell insisted he’s only “a kid.”
“He’s a kid, right? How old is he?” the reinstated co-host asked the rest of the panel.
Told Bieber would shortly be turning 20, she replied: “Oh, 20? I thought he was 18. Alright, he’s 20. But here’s the thing. Fame is a tidal wave; it sweeps you away..”
“I think until you’ve experienced it, you have no concept of what it is. And to be 15 years old and to be the most famous kid in the world, there’s hardly any way to keep your head above water,” O’Donnell added.
Of the alleged egging, Rosie’s take was somewhat different to the overwrought coverage?
“Oh come on, I throw eggs at houses every Halloween of my life!”
Speaking personally, the comments of these assorted heavweights are a refreshing.change.