During Tuesday evening’s season finale of The Voice, Halsey appeared to perform her new single “Without Me.” The singer added a unique element to her performance by doing an interpretive dance alongside actress and dancer Jade Chynoweth as she sang, and both were covered in colorful paint.
The performance received criticism from viewers who saw it as too “inappropriate” for family-friendly television, but Halsey called the critics out as “homophobic” — saying that they only disliked the performance because it portrayed two women as partners dancing intimately, Billboard reported.
The “Bad at Love” singer took to Twitter on Tuesday, following the show, to express the importance of her performance, simply stating that “representation matters.”
“Representation matters. Thanks @NBCTheVoice for giving a space for this vision to come to life. and thank you @JadeChynoweth for being an incredible human who used her body like the ultimate instrument for this collaboration,” Halsey wrote.
She went on to say that she is extremely proud of her performance with Chynoweth and to have “p*ssed off the homophobic viewers at home who missed the message.”
“Thanks for watching,” she concluded.
The singer posted the same message on Instagram, adding that they “performed the story of a [women-loving-women] couple and their emotional journey.”
Supporters of Halsey jumped to the singer’s defense, pointing out that — had she performed with a male dancer — viewers likely would have praised her instead of criticizing her, according to Hollywood Life. Some provided examples of instances where performances between a male and a female appeared too intimate for family-friendly television, but were not questioned.
“To all those claiming their disappointment with Halsey’s performance on The Voice isn’t homophobic: so long as your response to a heterosexual pair doing the same wouldn’t be ‘omg they have such chemistry, that was sooooo good!’ I MIGHT believe you. Might. Otherwise, have a seat,” one user wrote.
Another simply shared an image of male and female ice skaters performing during the Olympics, with the male holding the female around his waist.
Halsey has been a known advocate for the LGBTQ+ community throughout her career. Back in 2015, the singer appeared in her music video for “Ghost” alongside another female partner — for which she also received backlash, MTV UK reported. Halsey later revealed that she wanted to use a female partner to point out the double standards.
Halsey has also performed with several other LGBTQ+ artists, such as Lauren Jauregui on their joint single “Strangers.” The singer has openly expressed her sexuality in songs like “Bad at Love” and “Eastside.”