I’d like to start things off with a bit of an embarrassing admission, if I may: I, a thirty-something year old male entertainment journalist, have never truly disliked the Jonas Brothers.
That doesn’t mean that I was their biggest fan, either, but unlike most of the too-cool-for-school music listeners of my early adult age — their meteoric rise to Disney infamy began with their signing to Hollywood Records, Disney’s music imprint, in 2006 — I never really had that much of a problem with them, mostly due to their ability to actually play instruments and write their own songs. Furthermore, as they began to mature not just physically, but talent-wise, some of their songs somehow found their way onto my personal playlists (“Burning Up” still makes me smile, and no one will make me feel guilty about that).
Unfortunately, like most good things in life, my non-dislike of the JB3 has seemingly been short lived. Following the disbandment of the trio in 2009 and the somewhat recent new turns of Nick and Joe Jonas as adult singers — Nick as a soloist, Joe as the lead vocalist for another collective, DNCE — they have both popped up on my personal radar of irksomeness quite a tad.
I won’t get into the younger of the two this time around, mostly because his queer-baiting ways have already been handled with grace by the Huffington Post, but Joe is another story. Sit back, relax and have a piece of cake or something (preferably, not by the ocean). This is going to take a while.
Until very recently, Joe and his current musical partners were becoming, just as the media said they would be, my “new favorite band.” Since its release last October, DNCE’s Swaay EP, a four-song set of pop perfection, has been on constant repeat via my Spotify Premium account. “Toothbrush” is so sweet, it gives me cavities, “Pay My Rent” brings me back to my childhood and a song my mother used to love — “Ain’t Nothing Goin’ On But The Rent” by the legendary Gwen Guthrie, and “Jinx” is just so quirky and sweet, that you can’t help but to love it.
And then, of course, there’s “Cake By The Ocean,” the song that pop radio will never let die. And I’m totally fine with that, by the way.
This is where things start take a bit of an odd and in some ways, familiar, turn. As the group readies for the release of their full-length, self-titled effort, Joe has decided to step up and become the official face and mouthpiece for DNCE, which is not too surprising. Just as with most bands, the one at the main mic is usually the one who gets the most media attention, and that’s even if that person doesn’t happen to come with a pop star background.
Considering his time in the spotlight, one would think that Joe could handle this without fail; and to a degree, he has, albeit, a bit embarrassingly.
For starters, back in August, Jonas implored fans and music lovers on social media to help DNCE take home the publicly-voted Best New Artist trophy at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. To help things along, and by association, garner more votes, the handsome 27-year-old posted a provocative snap to his Instagram with the tag, “is this worth a vote?”
Just hours after it went up, DNCE won their first-ever Moonman. Shameless, yes, but a win is a win. Sadly, however, things only got worse from there.
In a push for the group’s new single, “Body Moves,” and its super-sexual visual, which we’ll touch more on momentarily, Joe sat down for a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Wednesday, which was noted by US Weekly, where he somehow managed to crossed the line from good taste into downright crassness. For example, when asked about losing his virginity — and by the way, why is that anyone’s business? — Jonas not only answered the question, but revealed the identity of the person he lost it to.
“I lost my virginity to this girl named Ashley,” he stated. “You can probably just Google it. It’s pretty easy to figure out. I dated a girl named Ashley, so just Google it to figure out which Ashley that is.”
That Ashley, as it turns out, was Twilight actress Ashley Greene, who probably never wanted the public to know something so very personal about her private life, but he wasn’t done yet.
“It’s quite the great story because I didn’t have any condoms, so I went to our drummer Jack’s room, who was my roommate at the time and I demolished his room looking for them. Found them underneath his underwear drawer. When he came home, he thought somebody broke into his room because his whole room was demolished because I was in dire need. Needed to happen then and now. Safety first, kids.”
How charming. And also, completely uncalled for.
What does anything about the mindset of a horny teenager have to do with promoting a single? In his defense, I get that an AMA is about connecting directly to fans in an intimate way, but to bring someone else’s intimate moment into the open like that is beyond deplorable to me. Did he not imagine how Ashley might feel about such an admission, knowing that the world is now privy to the act of what might have been her first time as well?
But then, it’s not just the answer he relayed about his first sexual experience that’s bad — and that’s already a lot of bad.
He then went on to joked about how he believes he has the biggest, let’s say “member,” out of all of the “members” that the Jonas Brothers possess, did a little queer-baiting, a-la Nick Jonas (“I have a few [man crushes],” he responded to an inquiry, “one being Daniel Craig. I have had multiple Daniel Craig birthday cakes in my life”), and even dug up the long-cooled embers of the mini-feud he had over the Jonas Brothers’ split with Nick and Nick’s big nipples (I refuse to type out anything more regarding Nick Jonas’ nipples. Not today, Satan, not today. Read the Us Weekly post, if you need more).
All of that, nonetheless, comes nowhere near the grossness of the demeaning way he retold what went on while filming the hyper-sexed visual for “Body Moves,” which included several risque scenes with model Charlotte McKinney (the following video is NSFW).
“There was definitely some half-chubbing going on during the video. I wouldn’t say a full-blown boner, but I would say a halfie. I mean it’s kind of hard not to in that situation, especially when you’re trying to be intimate, and also they put us in an elevator, me and Charlotte McKinney, who I’m sure Reddit is very familiar with.”
In the same week where a presidential candidate who has no right running this country, is being called out for how he likes to grab, touch and fondle women without asking, how can anyone in their right mind think it’s okay to think or talk like this about women like this? And no, it has nothing to do with being a prude or being an SJW or who’s mad about something that they have no right being upset over. It’s literally a piece of the same exact mind frame that Donald Trump and Billy Bush are being rightfully judged for.
Sure, Reddit is more or less seen as the place on the internet where “locker room speech” runs rampant, but it’s just as wrong now as it was on the Access Hollywood bus back in 2005. For some reason, we allow our male pop stars to act this way because it all supposedly comes with the act of being a star, but why? Why are we allowing this to happen?
Interestingly, this all reminds me of another male pop star who people love to hate for his outwardly braggadocious ways, yet they allow him to get away with it because he occasionally releases good music. Singer Adam Levine of Maroon 5 fame was notorious for being just as unabashedly boastful about his own perceived sexiness and the sexiness of the women he found attractive before he married model Behati Prinsloo in 2014. GQ put together a fluff profile piece to allow him to clear his name and his crude image, and guess what? He still failed to do so!
Regarding a previous quote about his well-publicized horn-dog ways (“Maybe the reason I was promiscuous, and wanted to sleep with a lot of [women] is that I love them so much”), he had this to say.
“[After struggling to become famous], all of a sudden, I had money in my bank account. I hadn’t had a break in a long time. And I went a little f***ing nuts. You know? And good. I deserved to go a little bit nuts. And I had the time of my life.”
Joe Jonas, I beg you, please don’t be like that guy. You are far too talented and have been in this game far too long to take cheap shots in order to remain relevant. You do not need to force the notion that you’re sexy or that you have sexual urges in order to gain attention. Just keep writing great songs, have killer performances and be awesome. That, kind sir, is the proper way to be the lead singer of anyone’s “new favorite band.”
Also, apologize to Ashley and Charlotte right this instant. They deserve it, and by the looks of the former girl’s latest Instagram post, she’s none-too-happy with you right now.
Make the right move, Joe.
[Featured Image by D Dipasupil/Stringer/Getty Images]