Hayley Williams Apologizes For Kicking Disruptive Fans Out Of Paramore Show
Last week, when Paramore played the first show of a two-night stand at Madison Square Garden, two fans appeared to shove their way toward the stage. The people in the crowd around them were visibly upset, and Paramore interrupted their song “Figure 8” so that bandleader Hayley Williams could kick both of them out: “Yes, I will embarrass both of you. Both of you need to find somewhere else to take care of that shit because that’s not happening here.” After video of the incident went viral, though, Williams is now the one who’s embarrassed.
As Billboard reports, Hayley Williams apologized to those two fans in a post on Paramore’s Discord over the weekend, writing:
My insides were triggered from numerous personal experiences not fit for a blog post or a microphone on stage at an arena. My outsides were trying to maintain control of a situation I felt that myself and my bandmates were responsible for. Without the opportunity for a proper back and forth (and with a looming, strict show-curfew in the back of my mind), I bared my teeth like a mother wolf.
I embarrassed the hell out of these two people without truly knowing what the situation was. Then, as a group — all 25,000 of us or so — exiled these people from the show in record time. It was a moment that I would not fully process for a couple of days, when a friend showed me a video from the inside of the crowd, up close to the action. What I saw on my friend’s phone screen didn’t look like the fight I thought I was stopping. It didn’t look particularly kind either. But I have not been able to shake the feeling that I abused my responsibility and my platform in that moment… that I hurt those two in a way that will outlast the momentary discomfort of their poor concert etiquette…
I love to say we make a safe space at our shows each night… but I’m also the one who may throw someone out without really even knowing what exactly is going on. Sure, maybe those two weren’t gonna get it any other way. But we should all try to imagine getting ridiculed and kicked out of a show in front of 10’s of thousands of people. When I saw their faces in the video, I didn’t see the smug smiles that some commenters criticized them for. I saw embarrassment and I cried for them. I’m telling you, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
So if you are those two people… I am sorry for whatever shame or embarrassment I may have caused you…
Rest assured, I will still have a person removed if necessary. I’ll just try with all my heart not to make it seem like some biblical era public execution next time.
Williams’ post is actually much longer than that, and it has a lot of reflections on the idea of community and catharsis that people can find at shows. You can read the whole thing below.