Verb (used with object), deified, deifying.
1. to make a god of; exalt to the rank of a deity; personify as a deity :
to deify a beloved king.
As benefit concerts become more and more popular, the lineups that emerge become bigger and bigger, resulting in ever growing audience sizes. The introduction of huge names and acts brings hundreds and thousands of adulating fans who for one night, think that they are the true center of the universe. In all fairness, when you pay that much money for a few hours of entertainment, it’s understandable that you might think that the whole world revolves around you when it, in all actuality, does not.
This is a harsh reality for some fans of the (former) band One Direction. One Direction fans have been notoriously shameless about their interaction with the band, and they have often come under fire for inappropriate comments and actions over the years. Although the boys have since dissolved the band and ventured out to create their own music and go on their own respective tours, the fan base has not changed much. Original One Direction fans have since grown and matured (rightfully so, as it’s been almost eight years since the band’s formation on the X Factor U.K.), but newer fans of the boys as a band as well as individual artists have come out of the woodwork.
Although it may not seem like it, the men of 1D are actually real people. They’re raised on such high pedestals due to their successes that it may seem like they’re unreal and godlike, which is what has caused such a huge problem with boundaries that have been drawn (or not drawn, in this case) between fan and artist.
The yearly We Can Survive concert at the Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl was recently held on October 21st, 2017 and was packed with a star-studded lineup that drew incredible crowds in order to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer. Alessia Cara, Ke$ha, Khalid, Lorde, Macklemore, P!nk, Sam Hunt, and Sam Smith were some of the notable names, but arguably the biggest headliner of the night was the one and only Harry Styles. Styles’ album was released on May 12th of this year, had a plethora of #1 songs, and spent ten weeks at the top of the charts thanks to fans buying and streaming the album, and even downloading VPN’s (virtual private networks) to try and cheat the system in order to keep it at the top of the charts.
It’s no secret that One Direction fans are a little bit crazy, but the night of We Can Survive changed things for the worse. A common action for fans is to live-stream and live Tweet Styles’ concerts, which is why when a fan reached up during the song Kiwi and groped Styles through his pants, the internet went nuts. Swatting the hand away and moving back into the middle of the stage was the only reaction from the singer, and no other mention of the incident was made by him. Sexual misconduct and harassment is something that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the music, film, and entertainment industry and it is not taken lightly.
The majority of fans took to Twitter to bash the action with #RespectHarry
Harry Styles isn't an object and should be treated like a human. He was performing at a charity event for Breast Cancer #RespectHarry
— Sara (@Saratheweirdo13) October 24, 2017
It’s sad that we still have to do these trends cause people still can’t respect Harry. Call this what it is. Sexual assault #RespectHarry
— nocontrolprojec (@NoControlProjec) October 22, 2017
Public Service Announcement: Celebrities are human beings. Harry Styles is a human being. He is not a sexual object #RespectHarry
— Luke Waltham (@lukewaltham) October 22, 2017
you don't touch women inappropriately.
you don't touch men inappropriately.
you don't touch anyone inappropriately. period.#RespectHarry
— loz (@breathemyvapor) October 24, 2017
All too often, sexual assault on men gets swept under the rug even though the problem is much more common than one might think. In the United States, there have been over 90,000 reports of sexual assault on males in the past year according to a report done by the U.S. Department of Justice, with the implication that there have been more assaults as many do not get reported. It’s important that we call this what it is because of the fact that celebrities often are not treated like real people, which is something that should not be happening in 2017. Harry Styles, and celebrities in general, should be treated with basic human decency because despite their art and despite the fact that they might seem like deities, they deserve to be respected.