Miley Cyrus was groped and ‘choked’ by a crazed fan – so why is she being blamed for it?
Earlier this week, disturbing footage of Miley Cyrus being groped and “choked” by a fan began circulating on social media.
In the video (which we have decided not to include here, due to the nature of the content), Cyrus and her husband, Liam Hemsworth, can be seen walking through a crowd of people as they exit their hotel in Barcelona. Without warning, a man suddenly grabs at Cyrus’ hair and throws an arm around her neck as he pulls her in close for a kiss.
Clearly unsettled by the incident, Cyrus does her best to avoid the fan’s physical contact, and ducks away as her security team steps in to intervene. Hemsworth then wraps an arm around her protectively as they leave the area.
Some suggested that Cyrus’ lyrics or what she wears made her a deserving target.
To this, the Wrecking Ball singer had the perfect response.
Taking to Twitter, she wrote: “She can be wearing what she wants. She can be a virgin. She can be sleeping with five people.
“She can be with her husband. She can be with her girlfriend. She can be naked.
“She CAN’T be grabbed without her consent.”
An overwhelming number of her fans have since flooded her feed with messages of support – the general consensus being that she should never have been touched without giving consent, let alone forcibly grabbed and “choked”.
There were those, however, who opined that fans have the right to grab at their favourite artists.
“I love it, I would have done the same thing,” said one. “She probably loved it. When is she coming out with her greatest hits album?”
Another added: “Do not be too strict with him. He is in love and crazy… [and] if there were no fans, celebrities would not be popular.”
Still one more said: “Why is that surprising? He is a fan, she’s famous and it is a MOB.”
And another insisted: “There is a price for fame.”
Right. Let’s tackle all of these points individually, shall we?
- We don’t care if you love it, you should never touch another person without their consent – and how dare you imply that Cyrus craves this sort of attention?
- Yes, celebrities and fans have something of a symbiotic relationship – but this does not entitle the former to touch the other non-consensually. Ever.
- It’s not surprising – it’s shocking. And it’s doubly shocking that anyone would think grabbing at another person like this is in any way OK.
- We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we, as fans, are never entitled to touch an artist’s body without their consent – to do so is a form of sexual assault. And using the “price of fame” as an excuse for this isn’t just incorrect; it’s morally reprehensible, too.
Of course, Cyrus is not the first celebrity to have been groped by fans – far from it, in fact. Just a few months ago, Daniel Portman – who plays Podrick Payne in HBO’s Game of Thrones – spoke out about being sexually assaulted by fans.
“I don’t want to say [being groped] comes with the territory, but, you know, people are crazy about it,” he said.
“It’s certainly not cool.”
Gigi Hadid, likewise, was grabbed from behind and hoisted in the air by a stranger as she made her way to her car at Milan Fashion Week. Angry and shaken, Hadid thrashed furiously at the man and eventually managed to free herself before he ran away laughing.
“I had EVERY RIGHT to defend myself,” she tweeted afterwards, when some publications suggested that she had “lashed out” in an “unladylike manner”.
“How dare that idiot thinks he has the right to man-handle a complete stranger,” Hadid continued, before adding: “He ran quick though!”
Taylor Swift, meanwhile, won a landmark sexual assault case against DJ David Mueller after he groped her during a fan meet ‘n’ greet in 2013.
“Right as the moment came for us to pose for the photo, he took his hand and put it up my dress and grabbed onto my ass cheek and no matter how much I scooted over, it was still there,” Swift said in a videotaped deposition.
“It was completely intentional, I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.”
Swift only asked for $1 in her suit, which Mueller paid in full. Is it any wonder, then, that the singer decided to reference “the little dollar that could” in her ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ music video?
If, for whatever reason, you’ve run into your favourite celebrity and are desperate to shake their hand or give them a hug, it’s polite to wait until the other person initiates physical contact. If they don’t and you’re really craving some human touch, you can ask them if it would be alright. And if consent is still not given?
Well, keep your hands to your fucking self. Simple.