There has been a lot going on in the world lately, and it's been challenging for a lot of different people. Between the civil unrest linked to the Black Lives Matter movement demanding justice, and the pandemic going on, many have asked for celebrities and influencers with large social platforms to use their influence and audience to bring attention to these important matters. Many have stepped up, some have remained silent, but Tyler Joseph may be canceled for how he chose to speak up — with a joke.
Tyler Joseph from Twenty One Pilots has a large social following.
Tyler Joseph is an American singer, rapper, and record producer who is the frontman for the musical group Twenty One Pilots. As a member of the group, he's been nominated for six Grammy Awards and has won one, and it's clear his music is popular and well-liked.
He's not only big in music, but Tyler also has a large social following on several platforms. On Instagram, his verified profile has over 5 million followers and his personal Twitter account boasts over 2 million followers with an additional 4 million following the Twitter account for his group.
We know in these days, people with large social followings are being asked to use their social platforms to bring awareness to the issues around the world — including racial issues.
Some are calling for Tyler Joseph to be canceled over his insensitive tweet.
On Sept. 2, Tyler took to his Twitter account to make a joke that many are calling insensitive based on what he's seemingly referencing. He tweeted, "you guys keep asking me to use my platforms. feels good to dust these bad boys off."
Along with the tweet, Tyler posted two photos of himself wearing large white platform shoes. In the first image, Tyler is standing tall and facing the camera at an angle to show off the tall shoes. The second image, Tyler is squatting down, pretending to tie the laces of the large white platform shoes.
Immediately after posting, fans and critics responded with disappointment. The tweets seemingly poked fun at fans urging him to use his social platform to speak up on the important issues going on in the world right now — specifically the Black Lives Matter movement. People responded to his tweet sharing their disgust at him appearing to poke fun at something so serious.
tyler joseph i know you’ll see this. I got severely bullied for listening to your music i was called whitewashed and was an outcast because i thought i knew you cared about me. this year you have taught me that you dont care about anyone but yourself. MY BLACK community is dying— shay (@DAYSORSHAY) September 2, 2020
i’ve seen most of the criticism of tyler lately up until this point silly (i.e. going to his family’s easter dinner) but he’s genuinely mocking fans supporting BLM. idc if it’s a joke, not funny. does he deserve to be cancelled? no. but people have every right to be disappointed.— 𝖇𝖗𝖎𝖆𝖓𝖓𝖆. 🍯🐉 (@bathtimebrianna) September 2, 2020
"yikes. disappointed tbh," one person tweeted. Adding, "you didn’t have to say anything, no one can tell you how to use your platform. but mocking people about it doesn’t sit right..."
In a follow up tweet, this person continued and said, "i’ve seen most of the criticism of tyler lately up until this point silly (i.e. going to his family’s easter dinner) but he’s genuinely mocking fans supporting BLM. idc if it’s a joke, not funny. does he deserve to be cancelled? no. but people have every right to be disappointed."
Tyler was called out by another person who replied to Tyler's tweet saying, "no that’s actually not what we mean. we would like you to speak up on the injustice in this country."
Another said, "i’ve adored twenty one pilots since i was 13 years old and this hurts man. to see tyler be so insensitive. call me dramatic but tyler joseph that tweet was so f--king tone deaf and i am beyond disappointed. people in the world are suffering?? it’s not some cheeky little joke??"
He is not joking about the issues, he is joking about the "fans" that ask and put pressure on him to speak, and without respect.— Andrea (@andrea_tj21) September 2, 2020
while he is creating new music that you also ask for. Please be patient and respectful
Others came to his defense after the call out, saying maybe people upset are taking this too seriously.
"He is not joking about the issues, he is joking about the 'fans' that ask and put pressure on him to speak, and without respect," one person said. Adding, "while he is creating new music that you also ask for. Please be patient and respectful."
"I love and appreciate your platforms post," someone else tweeted in response. "No person should be expected to reveal their thoughts on anything. No person should be criticized for their personal opinions or thoughts that they do choose to express. We should respect individualism."
Tyler doubled down on his tweet.
Following the backlash of the initial tweet, Tyler tweeted a long Twitter thread about suicide prevention and his struggling mental health. Suicide Prevention Week is near, starting on Sept. 6 and lasting until Sept. 12, and he tweeted in support of the week, alongside a link to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
He then followed up again to say, "this isn’t a notes app moment. i’m doubling down on my platform tweet. it was fantastic."
He later tweeted out saying that he does support Black Lives Matter.
Hours after the tweet in which he doubled down on his joke, Tyler tweeted, "my tweet wasn’t suppose [sic] to be about human rights. so in case you are wondering where i stand: Black Lives Matter. i just wanted to take a moment to raise awareness about something else that has meant a lot to me for a long time. but now I see there is no room for that right now."
He then shared, "im truly sorry if it hurt anyone. here is a link with a lot of great info that i stand by," followed by a card of resources of ways to help support the Black Lives Matter movement.
If you are looking for ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.