Justin Bieber is calling out the media for calling him “bratty” over a clearly playful moment in an interview he gave to France’s Clique TV website. The sit-down took place at the singer’s Paris hotel last week during his ongoing promotional tour for his smash single “What Do You Mean?”
Although Bieber called out the anti-Bieber press narrative in general, he directed a tweet to the reporter who first accused him of being a “brat.”
“@ledbettercarly not right how u and others in the media will twist and write a headline to hurt others with no accountability. I’m a person,” Bieber tweeted to Carly Ledbetter, associate lifestyle editor at The Huffington Post, late Monday (September 21).
@ledbettercarly not right how u and others in the media will twist and write a headline to hurt others with no accountability. I'm a person
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) September 22, 2015
The Canadian’s critical tweet, a rarity on Bieber’s predominantly upbeat Twitter feed, was a response to Ledbetter’s same-day article. It was headlined “Justin Bieber Is Kinda Bratty In New Interview, Surprises No One.”
Was Ledbetter’s assessment of the Biebs as “kinda bratty” accurate? Or, was her headline a transparently sensationalist misread that isn’t borne out by Clique’s video?
Take a look at the clip below.
Contrary to Ledbetter’s damning view, numerous media outlets — including the Inquisitr, and obviously Bieber’s fans — commented that the singer came over as sincere, responsive, polite, and mature during his just-under 14 minute chat with interviewer, Mouloud Achour.
Achour asked Bieber a slew of wide-ranging questions. These included the Drake vs. Meek Mill feud, his fans, loneliness, his hair, skate culture, Kanye West, and his upcoming album. Deeper queries were also asked, such as what would be the first thing Bieber would do if he were the U.S. president?
Bieber offered a thoughtful answer to the hypothetical president question. “I’d probably just fix some of the gun laws,” he replied. “‘Cause in Canada we don’t really have any guns and there’s no gun violence. So that really solves it. I mean they think that it’s for protection but it always ends up in some bozo’s hand.”
Likewise, Bieber had a reflective take on the typically harsh and overwrought media and general public’s opinion of his previous teen-like antics, which the singer has now repeatedly apologized for and largely moved on from. A two-sentence expression of frustration on the Today Show into a microphone he didn’t think was live isn’t a “tantrum” and a pull-out from a “Tonight Show” sketch for reasons that haven’t been made public do not negate Bieber’s months of appropriate 21-year-old behavior and negligible dramas.
“Well, I think that I’m just kinda walking on eggshells right now just to try to make sure people don’t think I’m being disrespectful,” the singer told Achour when asked why he thought he is targeted by the media more than other celebrities.
Explaining, Bieber added, “I think they [the media] put more responsibility for me because of my image I think and what I was representing.”
The heartthrob went on to say, “I think when you tell people you’re going to represent ‘belief’ and ‘hope’ and stuff and then you’re off not really doing that, I think people just get mixed messages.”
He continued, “If I woulda came out from the get-go… smoking weed… that would have been my image. But it wasn’t so… people just got confused.”
Bieber added, “Now, my image is like, I just want people to see me as just a normal dude. Like I just come in here with my hoodie, because I’m comfortable and just chilling and, like, not trying too hard. I just want to have a good time and show people that, like, I’m normal.”
During the interview, he also opened up about appreciating what success means for him and his mother, Pattie Mallette.
“It felt really cool, man,” Bieber replied, when asked what it was like to get his first big paycheck. “It felt like… I used to have to, my mom would always make me order water at restaurants. I could never get a soft drink. Those are like little things that when you’re a kid, they matter… when I got my first check I just felt the security to be able to take care of my mom because she always took care of me. Just being able to take care of your mom feels really good.”
Notably, Bieber did say he asks those around him to keep negative reports away from him, although he gave the impression that he does hear about extremely bad or outlandish stories. Given the sheer scale of often-fictional gossip that’s been written about the singer over the past two years, does anyone blame him?
Ledbetter did. Kicking off with snark that “Justin Bieber is doing everything he can to save his tarnished image,” (which is intended to suggest Bieber’s character isn’t authentic), she went on to focus on a light-hearted moment during the interview when the singer jokingly repeated “How many more questions?” while faux-collapsing on Achour at around the 4:08 minute mark.
The interview continued for another nine minutes and belies any notion that Bieber was trying to shut it down.
— Le Petit Journal (@LPJofficiel) September 18, 2015
Describing the moment, Ledbtter sniped: “Around the four-minute mark the Biebs, unable to hide his brattiness any longer, falls into the interviewer’s lap, asking, ‘How many more questions?’ Because we all know there’s no better way to redeem your image than by trying to shut down an interview.”
Similarly, the assistant editor demonstrated an empathy-bypass regarding Bieber’s directive to his circle to keep rumors off his radar. She stated: “Part of being the ‘normal dude’ that Justin craves? Making the people around him keep any negative rumors to themselves.”
Mayweather’s personal history — which has nothing to do with Bieber — was also used by Ledbetter to throw stones at the singer, despite the boxer meriting a passing mention in Clique’s interview.
In short: Ledbetter’s “bratty” headline isn’t supported by the video, even if you’re a die-hard Bieber critic. It seems clear it was used to draw clickbait traffic to Huffington Post, and perpetuate the endemic bashing of an over-scrutinized young star who is trying to get up after two difficult years.
[Images via Clique TV]