Justin Bieber has been defended once again by his manager Scott “Scooter” Braun.
Elaborating on a previous “witch hunt” soundbite, the 32-year-old addressed what he believes is a pattern of skewed mainstream media reporting on the teen singer.
In recent months Bieber has been front and center of numerous accusations of driving recklessly, assault, theft, battery, amid rumors of alleged drug taking and raucous partying in his Calabasas, CA neighborhood. While these claims are allegations and for the most part are reported as such, other incidents are proven.
These include single digit late show starts on Bieber’s Believe world tour, criticism when his former pet monkey was seized by Munich customs officials, widespread hysteria after an innocent but ill-advised guestbook comment at Amsterdam’s Anne Frank museum, footage of the singer urinating into a restaurant kitchen mop bucket, and photos of him spitting over a hotel balcony — into what, however, is explored below.
Although criminal and civil allegations against Bieber and his bodyguards in various cases are still to be determined, there have been some wins for the singer. Notably, accusations of speeding his white Ferrari in Calabasas over Memorial Day Weekend proved to be false after a security video revealed the Canadian wasn’t driving the car. The singer was also recently cleared of wrongdoing in an alleged hit-and-run June incident outside West Hollywood’s Laugh Factory comedy club.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight Braun commented on Bieber’s bad press, saying:
“There are times where I have to wake myself up and tell myself that 99% of the stuff being said is not true.”
He continued, “And I can’t let it affect me because he’s [Bieber] not even going through it because it didn’t happen. You know, just ’cause it’s being reported all over the press doesn’t make it real.”
Braun’s protest, probably taped before the latest Bieber news story, follows rumors that a sexually explicit song “What She Wants” containing the word “n***a” had been released by Bieber. His reps quickly denied this, and a copyright claim filed by Universal Music Group has seen postings of the song removed from YouTube.
While Braun admits Bieber has made missteps in recent months, he insists these can be put down to youthful folly.
“When he does make a mistake, he’s 19. You know he’s gonna make mistakes,” he added, “All of us make mistakes.”
The Time Magazine 2013 100 Most Influential People named manager also expressed anger over claims that Justin spat at a group of fans from his hotel balcony during a Toronto tour stop in July.
“Unfortunately, my biggest frustration is that Justin Bieber just became the biggest Make-A-Wish musician of all time at 19-years-old and a fake story about him spitting over a balcony into bushes was changed into [him] spitting over a balcony into fans, and that got more pick up when there’s nothing to show it’s true,” he told ET Online.
The ubiquitous crowd shot of fans at the hotel used in most media reports on the incident was extracted from Bieber’s Instagram video.
The teen singer filmed a group of fans gathered outside his hotel on the morning of July 25 as his video caption clearly states. The original photographer who snapped Bieber spitting from the hotel balcony reportedly arrived on the scene at around 4 pm.
Braun offered his take on the often negative press and wider public judgment leveled at young achievers.
“I think the main reason is, unfortunately we tell our youth, ‘we want you to be great, we want you to be great, we want you to change the world, we want you to do stuff,’ but the moment our youth actually exceed our expectations, we belittle their achievements,” he said, echoing remarks made earlier this year by Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith.
He added: “We tell them, ‘Oh well, they’re young it’s not credible.”
Asked if he was scared about Justin’s ability or any of his roster which includes — Ariana Grande, Tori Kelly, boyband The Wanted, Cody Simpson, and Carly Rae Jepsen — to crossover from child stars to adult, the New York City native said it was his job to imagine worst case scenarios.
He also revealed the advice he gives his young artists,
“I try to tell them please don’t let your personal life take away your opportunity. If you make great records that’s all that matters… If you make great music you’ll overcome anything because people can’t deny hits. But don’t let your personal life distract the opportunity to do so.”
While that advice may well be true it’s unlikely the worst tabloid offenders will hear Braun’s request for change.
A case in point, Radar Online’s recent, padded ‘International Coke Smuggling ring’ story on one of Bieber’s pals — music producer, Jason “Pooh Bear” Boyd — involving a now deleted Instagram of Boyd allegedly holding a bag of “white powder.” Jason insists the original snap of him with a piece of lime was photoshopped to look like an illicit substance.
TMZ’s publication of the original Instagram in their video report does appear to show the producer with a lime segment.