Monday, April 15, 2013

Justin Bieber - the boy in his own bubble

Justin Bieber's tour of Europe has attracted plenty of publicity, but it's been far from positive. There was the anger and upset of many UK fans after he appeared on stage so late that many of the audience had already left. Then there was a confrontation with photographers in London, then his pet monkey was put under quarantine in Germany, then school exams were rescheduled in Portugal and Norway because of the timing of his shows....the list goes on.

The latest faux pas has been caused by his comments in the guest book at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Mr Bieber wrote; "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”

Like millions of others, I have also visited the Anne Frank House and been deeply moved by her story. Seeing the tiny space in which she and her family hid for years from the German occupiers, only to be captured and killed just before the war ended, brings home the tragedy of the Second World War. Mr Bieber was clearly affected by his visit, but sadly managed to define his feelings in terms of his own fame. 

There's little doubt that Mr Bieber's fans will care little for the way in which he summed up his experience. For them, he can do no wrong. However, the impression that he is wrapped up in his own publicity bubble is growing. Perhaps he feels that controversy sells. Maybe he's just badly advised. Maybe he just needs to think a little bit harder about the impact of his behaviour and his words. 

Picture credit: By Joe Bielawa  Uploaded by MyCanon (Justin Bieber) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Simon Ellinas said...

It's not exactly up there with the more knowing but equally controversial publicity soundbite from John Lennon, "Beatles are bigger then Jesus", is it?

Andy Lopata said...

I almost feel sorry for him...almost! It's easy to judge him on this very crass comment, as I have done, but it's hard to imagine the level of pressure generated by the level of scrutiny about everything he does.

He should be better protected by his managers, someone should be whispering in his ear before he writes in a guest book of somewhere as sensitive as this.

One question though, is this a piece of opportunism by the Anne Frank House? He may have written the comment but it is they who have publicised it. And they've certainly gained a lot of publicity as a result.

Alan Stevens said...

Simon, Thanks for your comment. I agree - not quite in the Lennon league.

Andy, Thanks for commenting. I also tend to blame his PR entourage (if indeed he has one). I suspect you may be right about the Anne Frank House. They come out of the story with credit, even if the boy Bieber doesn't.