Justin Bieber’s PR machine is a little out of sync with real time. But, if you read until the end, the right message will linger.
While manager Scott “Scooter” Braun was busy putting out fires at Texas’ SXSW festival on Monday spreading the word that “there is nothing wrong” with his musical charge, a tabloid catnip story about Bieber’s visit to an Amsterdam coffee-shop after a club night in the city’s Melkweg venue, was breaking.
Yes. It was that kind of coffee-shop, with more than coffee and sandwiches for sale.
Bieber’s 125-date “Believe” world tour has moved on from its London leg, or to call it by its other name — a series of unfortunate incidents — to Portugal.
But, reportedly, the 19-year-old and a group of friends found time to stop over in Amsterdam and check out a hip-hop night “Encore” at Amsterdam’s famed De Melkweg (Milky Way) hot spot.
According to a venue employee, Bieber and his entourage were annoyed when when they realized there was no “special table” or VIP area set aside for them, which probably had more to do with getting hassled than anything else.
Reportedly, the group eventually relocated to the Easy Times coffee-shop in the center of Amsterdam at Prinsengracht 476. Once there, it’s alleged that the Canadian pop prince “smoked a joint.”
Bieber also visited a chip shop called Chipsy King.
“I got a call from my dad, his employee called him saying Justin Bieber was in our shop and had fries,” Chipsy King marketing manager Amir Beaucaire told E! News. “He was with a couple of security guys.”
“People love them,” Beaucaire said of the shop’s fresh cut chips, but Bieber “is definitely the most famous person we have ever had to come to our store.”
Revelations about Bieber’s Amsterdam sojourn follows news that a scheduled second concert date in Portugal was pulled “due to unforeseen circumstances” according to the promoters. The teen idol will, however, perform at Lisbon’s Pavilhão Atlântico tonight.
Although no reason was given for the cancellation, it’s been widely reported that “soft ticket sales” with 60% venue capacity made a second Portugal show non-viable.
All of this comes after seven days of mayhem that began with Bieber tweeting about his “worst birthday” and ended with a face-off with a paparazzo several sizes bigger than him.
Meanwhile, Braun is gamely insisting the Portugal cancellation had nothing to do with ticket sales and everything to do with “real technical issues” related to “the time it takes to move the entire concert production from one location to another.”
According to Braun — and the Lisbon promoters — the second show was sold out. The issue that led to the cancellation was down to union rules in Portugal. Colloquially called “load out,” which translates as the time allowed for crews to break down the stage from one show and set up for another. That said, Braun gets back on message. “He’s [Bieber] in a great place,” adding “tell everyone Justin is good, really good.”
On a sobering note, while the snowballing Internet meme “Bieber is unraveling” is becoming its own cottage industry, those who actually care about the singer say none of his behavior is out of the ordinary for a teenager on the cusp of manhood.
Team Bieber already includes One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, CNN host Piers Morgan, singers Jessie J and Ne-Yo, Will Smith, Liam Gallagher and Brit rapper Professor Green. Now, will.i.am reveals he recently gave the young superstar some advice.
The rapper-producer said: “He’s good, he’s a good kid. When you’re 17, 18, 19, 20 the world can get you off course but he’s gonna be alright. He has a good family, good people around him. Just every once in a while there’s a bump in the road.”
Last but by no means least, Jada Pinkett Smith, producer, actress, and mother of Willow and Jaden Smith — who is currently on tour with Bieber and one of three support acts — has blasted the gleeful media coverage on her Facebook page, asking:
“Are we bullying our young artists?… Is it okay to continually attack and criticize a famous 19 year old who is simply trying to build a life, exercise his talents while figuring out what manhood and fame is all about as he carries the weight of supporting his family as well as providing the paychecks to others who depend on him to work so they can feed their families as well?”
She’s got a point. Several, actually.
Do you agree with Jada Pinkett Smith’s assessment that the media’s coverage of Justin Bieber constitutes cyber -bullying?