As Billie Eilish took to the stage at the 2020 BRITs last night (18 February) to claim her award for Best International Female Artist, the Bad Guy star said that she’s felt “very hated” recently in a tearful speech.
It’s been a big month for Billie Eilish.
Not only did the Bad Guy star make history twice as she took home five awards at the Grammys, but last week her new theme tune for the upcoming James Bond film No Time To Die received rave reviews from social media users and critics alike. And last night (18 January), she even took home the award for Best International Female Artist at the 2020 BRITs.
With all this considered, you’d assume that Eilish would be having the time of her life right now. But thanks to internet trolls, that hasn’t been the case.
Taking to the stage to accept her BRIT award last night, the singer admitted she’s been experiencing a lot of hate recently.
“I wanted to say something that I was thinking like two seconds ago… I’ve felt very hated recently,” she said. “And when I was on the stage and I saw you guys smiling at me, it genuinely made me want to cry, and I want to cry right now, so thank you.”
The singer’s honesty comes after she admitted she has stopped reading comments on Instagram because internet trolls are “ruining” her life.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Eilish said that she’s had to take a step back from social media over the last couple of days, calling the atmosphere online “worse than it’s ever been”. Asked whether she reads everything that gets posted on Instagram, the singer said she had stopped “literally two days ago” in an attempt to get some space.
“I stopped reading comments fully, because it was ruining my life, once again” she said. “It’s weird – the cooler the things you get to do are, the more people hate you. It’s crazy.”
As the interview continued, Eilish was asked how we can make social media – and her answer didn’t shy away from the reality of cancel culture.
“Cancel culture is insane,” she said. “The internet is just a bunch of trolls, you know? And the problem is that a lot of it is really funny. I think that’s the issue – that’s why nobody really stops, because it’s funny.”
Eilish’s brother Finneas, who co-wrote the Bond track No Time To Die, added that the “lack of accountability” is also a big problem.
“I think even if it’s your own face in your profile picture and it’s your own name, it’s still that everybody is much braver behind a cell phone screen than they would be if they walked down the street.”
Reflecting on her brother’s comments, Eilish went on to suggest that the need to be liked and accepted on social media is fuelling all these unneccesary comments – admitting that she herself had made remarks in the past that she now regrets.
“I would say that it’s anything for a joke,” she explained. “You’d say anything to make people laugh. I’ve experienced that. Growing up, I’d say things that I thought people would laugh at and then later I’d realise that wasn’t cool to say.”
She continued: “It’s worse than it’s ever been right now. It’s insane that I’ve even been reading comments up until this point.
“I should have stopped long ago. The problem is that I’ve wanted to stay in touch with the fans and keep talking to them, but people have ruined that for me. The internet is ruining my life – so I stay off.”
Lead image design by Alessia Armenise