As the media fervor surrounding the shooting deaths of the Orlando Pulse nightclub victims and Christina Grimmie begins to subside, it’s now up to the public at large to do all that they can to keep the names, memories and violent acts connected to those we’ve lost in mainstream conversation.
Over the past few days, several exalted members of the public — namely, pop stars Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, and Justin Bieber — have done just that, by either dedicating moments to the deceased collective during a concert appearance (Bieber on Friday, as reported by The Inquisitr), or by inviting the survivors of the Orlando shooting to attend one (Jonas and Lovato on Saturday, according to E! Online). The parade of support by all three acts have, unsurprisingly, been celebrated by quite a few publications for their “heartfelt” shows of remembrance and sincerity… and it’s a grossly undeserved compliment.
In fact, if we’re being blunt about things, these three in particular seem to be using the tragedy of both Orlando shootings to get out of the proverbial doghouses they’ve been in.
For example, just days after the Pulse shooting, Nick Jonas exacerbated his oft-reported queer-baiting ways by speaking at a candlelight vigil for the Orlando victims in New York City. Not only did his appearance cause a huge uproar, but it occurred during the height of his promo tour for the album, Last Year Was Complicated, which made the move seem all the more personal, or better yet, promotional. The backlash was swift and loud, with most rightfully feeling that it was the final straw from someone who had no idea just how wrong it was for someone like heterosexual Jonas to step into a moment that mostly belonged to and affected the LGBT+ community at large.
As for Demi Lovato, the “Confident” singer is still feeling the burn of going after music legend Mariah Carey without an invitation, subtle or otherwise, from the musician. After being told from two separate fan bases that she had no right to disrespect someone without knowing all of the facts — Lovato claimed that Carey was “mean” for never acknowledging Jennifer Lopez or Ariana Grande, Carey counteracted ages ago that there’s a difference between knowing a name and knowing a person — the 23-year-old threw a public fit on Twitter and promised to never return to the social media platform.
She would turn up again less than 24 hours later, still rude and still problematic.
And then, there’s Justin Bieber, whose latest offense directly affects the very same moment that he is trying to memorialize. After ignoring multiple requests from those who cared enough to read his thoughts on the Orlando shootings, the “Company” singer finally took a moment from his busy life to reassure fans in the Florida city that he would not be canceling his then-upcoming show there.
While that seemed to appease the initial request, a second mention of the show with the #OrlandoStrong hashtag would light another firestorm of controversy for the Canadian superstar, as it seemed that Bieber was solely doing so to promote himself and not to honor the innocent victims.
But, just as with Jonas and Lovato’s entourage of Pulse employees, Bieber found his way to forgiveness by dedicating a moment of his show to Grimmie and the other Orlando shooting victims. A little tear and a scroll of names and voila, all is seemingly forgiven.
To see the lives and deaths of 50 innocent people become pawns in the never-ending mess of the Hollywood elite is not just bothersome, but deplorable. Even if Jonas, Lovato, and Bieber have genuine feelings regarding the violent ways that Christina Grimmie and the 49 other Orlando shooting victims lost their lives, one can’t help but feel that their displays of supposed concern and consideration have ulterior motives attached. Perhaps it’s just the jaded nature of the world that is causing such a feeling, but it probably won’t matter for long. Just like the mentions of Christina Grimmie and the other Orlando shooting, no one who supports Nick, Demi, or Justin will remember this… until it happens again.
[Photos by Neilson Barnard & Jason Merritt/Getty]