Remember last week when that concert-goer in Portland heckled Fiona Apple so rudely about her appearance that she left the stage of her own concert in tears? If you do, you’ll also recall that we agreed that that was totally acceptable behavior from an audience member; to give a performer unsolicited advice during a set. I’m sure they’re very good friends, and that was the first moment they could find alone together.
I mean obvi the woman was totally in the right, because if you have an issue with an artist you’ve paid to see, you’ve totes earned the right to just shout it out at the top of your lungs. You should never hide that light under a bushel. But you know what’s weird? For a supposedly unhealthy person who won’t be around in ten years (according to said heckling), Fiona is having a really amazing reaction to the whole incident. She gave an interview to Pitchfork about the incident, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say it’s impressively logical, self-aware, and honest. Almost as if she’s a regular human being who expected to be treated with respect. But let’s not be ridiculous.
“She hurt my feelings. I don’t think what I look like is relevant. And by the way, this whole ‘unhealthy’ thing has me baffled. It’s really confusing to me why anyone would have an opinion about that. And [the heckling] just takes you out of [the live performance]. People around me try to tell me that’s not going to happen, but it always happens. It’s really disappointing. I can’t laugh—I’m an emotional person. And I’m just very sensitive about that. Many people are, not just women. The heckler said, “I saw you 20 years ago, and you were pretty.” That’s just rude, and I don’t want her there anymore because it’s my stage, you know? I got very angry. But I’m going to try and be more prepared for that. I’m assuming that people are going to start to say those kinds of things just to egg me on now. Those people are going to have to leave if they interrupt me. I need to be able to do my job.”
I mean, yeah. If someone is genuinely worried about you, that’s a private conversation, and that should come from a close friend or family member, not a stranger, A., and not at a live show. It really is her work place, so it’s completely inappropriate to interrupt Fiona doing her job in order to shout out an insult. And for that insult to be appearance-based makes absolutely no sense, because that affects her music approximately zero percent.
“It’s a sensitive subject because it’s not something that should be talked about, because there is nothing wrong with me. I’m healthy and I shouldn’t even have to say any of that. What makes me unhealthy and puts me in danger is that kind of scrutiny itself. It’s the same as being bullied at school, and just because you’re getting older, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t hurt by it. You could make anybody cry if you told them that they’re ugly.
I don’t even know what I’m being accused of. Do they think I’m on drugs? That I have a life-threatening illness? Do they think that I’m anorexic? At this point, emotionally, it doesn’t get easier to hear those criticisms—but it gets easier to be resolute about my reaction to it. Which is just: ‘Go ahead and call me ugly, call me skinny, call me crazy and speculate as much as you want, but not at a show.’ I don’t think that there’s anything meltdown-y about that. I don’t have any problem getting angry at someone who insults me in the middle of a show.”
Yeah girl. Get it. Couldn’t agree more.