“Señorita” singer Shawn Mendes trended on Twitter on Friday after some described his past comments as homophobic, though the Twitter trend revealed that the truth of the matter was more complicated.
The trend seemed to originate after an interview Mendes did with Rolling Stone in November 2018 resurfaced. In the interview, Mendes discussed the 2018 movie Love, Simon. The film, which is based on the book titled Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, follows a gay teenage boy in high school as he comes to terms with his sexuality.
Some on Twitter seemed to imply Mendes’ comments in the interview, in which he mentioned having a panic attack and having to leave a movie theater during a screening of the film were homophobic, but as fans of Mendes pointed out, that wasn’t actually the whole story.
In the original Rolling Stone article, it seems that Mendes actually panicked over his song “In My Blood,” which was released at the same time as the film’s screening.
In fact, while the trending hashtag seemed to imply that fans were angry with the 21-year-old star, many of the posts in the Twitter hashtag were actually in support of Mendes.
“STOP CANCELLING UNPROBLEMATIC CELEBRITIES,” one Twitter user wrote. “FOCUS ON THE AMAZON INSTEAD. UR WASTING UR TIME WHEN YOU SHOULD BE FOCUSSING ON THE EARTH.”
Others addressed the claims of homophobia directly.
“He spreads nothing but love and acceptance and he does it with such grace,” one user wrote on Twitter, attaching photos of herself with the pop star. “The homophobic rumors about him aren’t true, it’s sad that people believe everything they hear about.”
Several fans shared a video clip from another interview that Mendes did last year with radio host Elvis Duran, which, as seen in this YouTube clip, actually shows Mendes praising Love, Simon, and even telling Duran that he had considered playing the lead character in the movie. Mendes said he didn’t end up starring in the film because of scheduling conflicts.
— etalk (@etalkCTV) August 22, 2019
The titular main character in Love, Simon was ultimately portrayed by Nick Robinson.
Meanwhile, Mendes is expected to hit the stage on Monday at the MTV Video Music Awards to perform his recent hit collaboration with Camila Cabello, “Señorita.” The song, released in June of this year, recently peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
A television spinoff of Love, Simon is expected to start production later this month and hit computer screens at a later date on Disney+, an upcoming streaming service from Disney that is slated to launch in November of this year, per Queerty.