Drake Bell is back on the Justin Bieber bashing it seems. Dusting himself off after filing for bankruptcy in February, he has returned to promote his April-dropping new album and his new animated DVD, and appears to have decided to push a revisionist take on his Internet history to do it.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, the former star of Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh not only comes after Bieber, but drags Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga into the fray.
“There’s just a lot of really young, entitled people,” he says.”I don’t think a lot of these young people have to work very hard.”
“They’re found on YouTube and — boom — thrown into the studio so they think they can get anything they want. Ariana Grande is a billionaire before she’s been an artist. You have to work to be able to appreciate what you have, and what work did she ever have to do in her life?”
Bell’s view on 20-year-old Grande — who debuted on Broadway at age 14 in the musical 13, then as Nickelodeon’s “Cat Valentine” in Victorious before spinoff Sam & Cat, later topping the Billboard 200 album chart with her critically acclaimed debut Yours Truly last September, won out as New Artist of the Year at the 2013 American Music Awards, and recently scored the Favorite TV actress blimp for Sam and Cat at this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards — seems particularly misplaced.
Taking selective aim at not only Grande, Bieber and Lady Gaga – all of whom have incurred the wrath of Perez Hilton, who is a personal friend of Bell’s – the 27-year-old slams the rise of fandoms.
“I can’t stand that, with a lot of the pop stars, there’s this idea of ‘Are you in our clique? Are you a Direction-er or are you a Belieber?,'” Bell says.
“Oh, you’re not in our gang? Then you’re not cool and you need to go in a hole and die,” he laments, bizarrely concerning himself with the antics of kids.
He adds, “I don’t understand it. And what’s worse is artists like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber don’t come out and say, ‘I love having you as my fans, but you shouldn’t be acting this way.’ They just eat it all up, and I think it’s repulsive.”
Strong words. Yet, aside from the fact that it’s not only youth who take advantage of the free speech badlands also known as the Internet — Shia LaBeouf, Kanye West, Alec Baldwin, Perez Hilton, Rob Kardashian, and Chris Brown being notable offenders — for reasons best known to himself, Bell doesn’t mention his own Internet trolling.
Bell, who was described by J-14 magazine in January as the “Biggest Celebrity Bully of All Time” — they include a Twitter timeline of his history of insults — has for two years engaged in juvenile, unilateral goading of Bieber and his tween to teen Beliebers. A curious pursuit for a man of nearly 30 who purportedly aspires to be like his role models Michael Jackson, Billy Joel and Paul McCartney.
I wouldn’t randomly bash @katyperry….bieber however lol
— Drake Bell (@DrakeBell) July 3, 2012
Drake and Josh was my favorite show as a kid. really. — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) July 24, 2012
@justinbieber yeah right
— Drake Bell (@DrakeBell) March 21, 2013
Justin Bieber is 5’6″ now I understand why you guys love him!! He’s the same height as all you 12 year olds! I totally get it now sorry guys — Drake Bell (@DrakeBell) April 7, 2013
When is someone going to tell this idiot he can’t draw.His art is almost as bad as his music. Talentless artless pic.twitter.com/N3xiPFfQNz
— Drake Bell (@DrakeBell) January 16, 2014
https://t.co/dUmUrRkKxZ become a part of the movement!!!
— Drake Bell (@DrakeBell) January 27, 2014
The nadir of Bell’s ongoing antagonism towards Bieber seemed to climax when he urged his three million Twitter followers to sign a “We the Petition” demanding the forcible deportation of the singer while dubbing his efforts as a “movement.”
“I’m all about unity and loving your neighbor,” Bell insists without irony, adding, “I just think it’s so much more rewarding and important to go around the world and bring people together, as opposed to pushing people away.”
Of Grande — who, at the age of ten, co-founded a South Florida youth singing group “Kids Who Care,” which performs at charity events and raised over $500,000 in 2007, then taught music and dance to kids in South Africa with the Broadway organization, and is now working with Kleenex on its “Shield Sneeze Swish” campaign — Bell comes at the songstress for not policing her fans’ attacks on Hilton after he publicly accused her back in February of taking cocaine.
The blogger tweeted then deleted: @ArianaGrande Are you okay? I heard someone saw you doing cocaine at a party this weekend. Stay away from drugs, Ariana!!!)”
Bell’s take on his friend Hilton’s allegedly slanderous, public and damaging accusation?
“Ariana Grande’s fans told Perez Hilton that he and his son needed to die and get cancer, and she just fed it. It’s disgusting,” he offers.
Apart from the fact that it’s unrealistic to expect big artists to control millions of fans, Bell’s retelling conveniently leaves out Hilton’s role in making an allegedly, unfounded cocaine slur against Grande for which he may be sued — according to Gossip Cop and Celebuzz.
While threats against anyone, but especially children are deplorable, it’s also well known that Hilton trades in a particularly toxic brand of Internet bullying to generate traffic.
“We’re told the star [Grande] is so anti-drugs that she’s even afraid to take over-the-counter medication like Tylenol.
Music insiders speculate that the cocaine allegations may be a ‘vendetta’ by Perez, who allegedly tried to be Grande’s manager. He ‘approached her and got rejected,’ says a close family confidant, who feels his attacks against her and her fans are ‘personal.’
That’s just sad and pathetic on Hilton’s part.”
Ambitiously also name-checking Elvis Presley, The Beatles as the role models he emulates, Bell later omits the impressive outreach work Bieber does with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Pencils of Promise organization, the Whitney Elementary School, and the over $3 million he raised with his #GiveBackPhilippines campaign for the Typhoon Haiyan-hit nation — not to mention the millions directed back to charities through a $1 levy on the singer’s Believe tour tickets.
Bell counters: “Artists like Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga have more sway over popular minds than a politician.”
“They could get on a pedestal and say – ‘This is how you should treat people’ – but instead [Bieber’s] going around telling kids that as long as you have enough money and swag, you can do whatever you want.'” Bell adds: “I just think that’s a gross, awful, terrible message.”
In fact, as per MTV, there are no documented comments where Bieber articulates such a message.
Although his next statement isn’t borne out by his on-record retweets of his fans’ attacks on Bieber, including Seth Rogen’s “All jokes aside, Justin Bieber is a piece of s–t,” tweet back in January, as reported by Huffington Post — Bell blatantly lies, declaring:
“If I catch one of my fans saying something improper, a gay slur or any derogatory term, I instantly tweet directly at them and say, ‘This isn’t how we do it.'”
Reserving a special slam for Gaga, whose feud with Hilton is now the stuff of a really, really dull legend, Drake blasted the ARTPOP singer for defending the behavior of her Monsters when they went after shock-jockey Howard Stern online.
“She said, ‘You have to understand Howard it comes from a place of love. They don’t want to see me get hurt,'” Drake said, recalling Gaga’s guest appearance on Stern’s SiriusXM show last November.
Bell comments: “I couldn’t believe she didn’t take a second to address her fans and say how disgusted she was they’d do something like that.”
Given Stern’s longstanding, bruiser capabilities – just punch “Howard Stern slams” in Google and see what pops up – it’s more than a tad disingenuous of Bell to assume Stern cared one way or the other what Gaga’s fans get up to. But, disingenuous seems to be Bell’s playbook all over.
Hot on a self-promotional trail to dig himself out of his financial black hole, we can expect to see and hear a lot more of Bell gunning for Grande, Gaga and Bieber. “It’s hard for me to be something I’m not,” Drake purrs.
[Update: Bell has now backtracked on his slam of Grande and says he did not criticize her in BuzzFeed’s profile. We have reached out to the website for a response to that claim.]