Back in ye olden times, it was damn near impossible to get close to your musician of choice. The best you were going to get was the occasional concert and maybe a signed photo from the fan club. These days, though, we are afforded a wealth of different ways to interact with our beloved heroes — hell, if you're on Twitter enough, you might even get a care package direct from the delicate lady fingers of Taylor Swift — and it's resulting in fan/artist contact that can be insanely inappropriate. Here are five times musicians have interacted with their fans in ways that were all kinds of wrong.
[jump] 1. Riff Raff Offering Himself Up as a (Very Expensive) Prom Date
On Monday, Riff Raff — he of the white boy cornrows and ridiculous teeth accessories — announced, via Instagram, that he is now working as an escort for High School students. No, really. “List of Things When RiFF RAFF Takes You to Prom,” the photo screamed. “-FULL TWITTER & iNSTAGRAM PROMO FOR 7 DAYS SAYiNG WHO YOU ARE AND THAT HE iS TAKING YOU TO PROM -PULL UP iN A LAMBORGHiNi SO THAT YOUR WHOLE SCHOOL KNOWS… U ARE NOW A LEGEND -FREESTYLE ViDEOS AND iCONiC PROM PICTURES ALL NIGHT” And finally: “THE BEST PENTHOUSE SUiTE iN TOWN”. RR goes on to specify that this joyous evening will cost the princely sum of $28,000 and that his date “MUST BE 18+” We can't figure out who would wanna hang out with this ass clown for free, so Christ knows who's going to cough up that kind of dough.
2. Avril Lavigne Requesting $400 to Stand 3 Feet Away From You
While Riff Raff's issue is a fundamental lack of any decent human boundaries, other famous musicians have the opposite problem: too many restrictions and the incredibly uncomfortable situations that arise from them. Guiltiest of all in this regard is Avril Lavigne, whose infamous “No Touching” meet and greet rules have resulted in a wealth of incredibly awkward snapshots for us to marvel over on our coffee breaks. Most legendarily, Lavigne charged her Brazilian fans $400 each to pose with her and a giant empty space to keep her at a safe distance. Behold the glory:
3. 30 Seconds to Mars Running a Competition to Sleep in Jared Leto's Bed
The best kinds of celebrities are the ones who can keep their shit together and their feet on the ground, even when the world is telling them 257 times a day how beautiful and talented they are. Jared Leto — frontman of 30 Seconds to Mars and famed actor — is not one of these celebrities. In fact, Leto's ego has swelled to such gargantuan proportions that in May 2013, his band ran a competition where the prize was sleeping in Leto's bed for the night. “WTF??? Yes, it's true,” the trio's website declared hysterically at the time, failing to grasp the notion that inviting (probably) underage teenagers into the sleeping quarters of a then-42-year-old man might be a teeny bit predatory/ creepy/ FUCKING NUTS. But this is also a band that thinks nothing of wearing surgical gloves during signings to protect themselves from all those nasty fan germs, so, numb-skullery is clearly a common trait in this camp.
4. Robin Thicke and the Twitter-based #AskThicke Debacle
Remember last summer when VH1 asked the world: “Have a burning question for @robinthicke? Submit your ?s using #AskThicke!” and were then subsequently buried under a mountain of feminist sarcasm? Of course you do! Because it was both magnificent and the perfect antidote to those “Robin Thicke Has a Big Dick” balloons. Sometimes, even now, when we're feeling sad about the casual objectification of women in pop music, we still look at these Tweets and feel warm and fuzzy inside because BOOM! “Is your next 'hit' just a lyric sheet, with a Rohypnol Sellotaped to it?” CRASH! “Once you've cracked 'hug me', any thoughts on what rhymes with 'misogynistic douchebag'?” BANG! “On a scale of R. Kelly to Phil Spector, how do you intend to “Get Her Back?”” Talk about a gift that keeps on giving… Goodbye forever, Robin!
5. Justin Bieber's Super Hetero Win-a-Date Thing
As we all know, pop stars and boy bands have two key demographics: young females and dancing gays. So when Justin Bieber offered fans the chance to be his date at the premier of his movie, Believe, it would've been wise to show some gender neutrality. Instead, all of the publicity around the competition talked endlessly about “fangirls,” the hunt for “one very special girl” and finding a “lovely lady” to be his date for the night. The contest was a big hit of course, but we can't help but feel like the whole thing was a teeny bit homophobic. And, as the world now knows, it all went rapidly downhill from there on the Bieber manners front.