The Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, known throughout the world for his beautiful voice, is now facing a public backlash on social media as fans are being asked to boycott him with the hashtag #boycottBocelli. What has caused this social media frenzy and why are Andrea Bocelli’s fans so upset?
The backlash over Andrea Bocelli and threat of a boycott began when it was announced that the singer would be performing in January at Donald Trump’s inauguration. Huffington Post reported just days ago that Bocelli and a 16-year-old opera singer named Jackie Evancho were slated to perform during Trump’s inauguration ceremony and also cited Evancho’s mother as stating that her daughter would be singing a duet with Andrea Bocelli.
Now Huffington Post has said that Andrea Bocelli will no longer be singing at Donald Trump’s inauguration and that it isn’t even clear whether he was really planning to perform or not depending upon what reports you read, with various publications all reporting different stories. But they are quoting Page Six as saying that due to the huge social media backlash, he decided against appearing at the inauguration.
“Bocelli said there was no way he’d take the gig. He was getting too much heat and he said no.”
Donald Trump is known to be a huge fan of Andrea Bocelli, so it’s not surprising that he would ask the tenor to perform at his inauguration. The Daily Mail hinted that Bocelli may be one of Trump’s picks for the ceremony.
“Trump has a long-standing relationship with Bocelli, and wants to ask him in person to perform. The plan is to have acts at the inauguration that are meaningful for Trump, and he’s a huge fan of Bocelli.”
However, once Andrea Bocelli’s fans heard of these plans, they began their Boycott Bocelli campaign on social media. Fans took to twitter with the hashtag #boycottBocelli and left messages like, “I love your voice, but will feel obligated to join #Boycott Bocelli if you sing at Trump’s coronation. Please don’t.”
Even Bocelli’s personal website was filled with requests asking him not to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“His inauguration is a tragedy and please do not lend your angelic voice to it.”
— Paige Towers (@Paige_Towers) December 14, 2016
Did the Boycott Bocelli campaign cause Andrea to change his mind? There are conflicting reports on this, as Tom Barrack, the Presidential Inaugural Committee Chairman, told CNBC that Donald Trump had never asked Andrea Bocelli to sing at his inauguration to begin with.
Barrack explained that while Trump and Bocelli have long been friends, it was actually Andrea Bocelli who approached Donald Trump and said that he would be willing to appear at his inauguration and sing if Trump thought it would be “helpful.” Donald Trump said Andrea Bocelli didn’t need to perform and would always be his friend regardless.
“Donald said, you don’t need to. We’re not in that kind of a framework. Thanks very much for the offer. You’re my friend. You are always welcome at the White House.”
It is the opinion of Tom Barrack that the media have made the situation worse by claiming that Andrea Bocelli backed out of performing at Trump’s inauguration because of the Boycott Bocelli campaign.
“It never got to: Can you, will you, would you with either of them. They’re just great friends. And that was it.”
Meanwhile, supporters of Donald Trump feel that Andrea Bocelli has been needlessly bullied on social media as Town Hall describe how Bocelli was threatened with empty seats at future performances if he went ahead with his plans to sing for Donald Trump.
Do you think Andrea Bocelli was really planning on performing at Trump’s inauguration and, if so, do you think it was the Boycott Bocelli movement that caused him to back out?
[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]