People

The truth behind Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall and that 2019 Brit Awards eye-roll

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) (L-R) Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards of Little Mix, winners of the Best British Artist Video of the Year award during The BRIT Awards 2019 held at The O2 Arena on February 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Jade Thirlwall was caught rolling her eyes on camera at the 2019 Brit Awards – and for good reason.

Ah, Piers Morgan. Here at Stylist, we prefer not to acknowledge his existence, but this professional troll has got a platform on live TV, is all over Twitter and has his own newspaper column. And all of that publicity means that he’s able to inflict his (sometimes dangerous, always irritating) views upon the masses, not to mention his backwards thoughts on feminism, his outrageous views on sexual assault survivors, and general misogynistic chatter

However, when he attempted to shame the fierce ladies of Little Mix – Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall – he bit off way more than he could chew.

You may also like

Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall opens up about anorexia battle: “I just wanted to waste away”

Taking aim at their promo images for Strip (in which the band appear naked with words like ‘ugly’, ‘talentless,’ and ‘slutty’ written on their skin), Morgan suggested that LM were “using nudity to sell their albums”.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Morgan – clearly unable to recognise a metaphor even if he were to be bashed around the head with it – snapped: “What is empowering about this? Get your kit off, airbrush yourself to within an inch of your lives… it’s nonsense. It’s just stripping off to sell records. It’s actually using sex and sexuality to sell records. That’s it. There’s nothing else to this.”

He added: “I get insults every single day, I don’t take my clothes off and adorn my body in them.”

Thank goodness for that, eh?

Unfortunately for Morgan, though, his comments did not go unnoticed by Little Mix.

Indeed, in an interview with Nick Grimshaw at Radio 1, Nelson addressed Morgan’s comments, saying that neither she nor her bandmates had found them surprising.

“Of course not,” she said, “he’s a silly tw*t.” 

Grimshaw, laughing, quickly apologised to his listeners for the “offensive language”, and Pinnock attempted to undo the damage by chiming in: “The word she was looking for was ‘idiot’.”

You may also like

Piers Morgan explains why he deserves to be paid more than Susanna Reid

Of course, Morgan was wounded by the remarks and has since called for a public apology from the band.

He has also challenged the women to meet him (presumably with pistols at dawn) on the set of GMB for a proper face-to-face showdown. Lord, give us strength.

“If you’re brave enough @LittleMix — come on @GMB tomorrow and say when you’ve just been saying about me on Radio One to my face,” he tweeted, sounding for all the world like one of the Mitchell brothers off EastEnders. “Then we can debate your cynical exploitation of nudity to sell records.”

While Little Mix wisely decided to show this tweet all the attention it deserved at the time (yup, they utterly ignored it), Jack Whitehall decided to quiz them about the spat during the 2019 Brit Awards.

As soon as Whitehall brought up the drama, though, Thirlwall rolled her eyes dramatically and turned her head away from the comedian.

Watch the moment for yourself in the video below:

Speaking to the Metro at Sony’s Brits 2019 after-party, Thirlwall was asked to explain why she had rolled her eyes.

She responded simply: “I’m over it. I don’t think we should focus on negativity. I thought we’d always get stick but you can’t please everyone.”

She added of Morgan: “He loves it. He loves the attention.”

You may also like

Jack Whitehall’s joke about Little Mix is officially the most complained about moment of The Brits

Of course, this was not the first time that Morgan has publicly shamed women for their bodies. In 2017, Amber Rose posted a photo of herself to social media, which saw her posing in a string bikini top and no bottoms, with her pubic hair visible.

She captioned it with a link to her website, amberroseslutwalk.com, a movement she set up in 2015 to echo the original Slut Walk – a worldwide campaign raising awareness of rampant victim-blaming in sexual assault cases, specifically to highlight the fact that there’s a focus on how survivors of assault were dressed at the time of the attack.

Morgan immediately took offence to the image and fired off a response to Rose on Twitter, reading: “Put it away, luv. Thanks.”

Unwilling to let Morgan’s comments shame her into taking down the image, Rose responded with the hashtag, “I’ll take things misogynistic assholes say for 500, Alex” – a reference to US game show, Jeopardy.

Morgan replied: “It’s not ‘misogyny’ to think that posting nude photos in the supposed name of feminist empowerment is pathetic attention-seeking bulls**t,” he wrote. To be fair, he does have a lot of experience in the art of misogyny, so we suppose he’s forgiven for thinking he knows exactly what it entails.

Rose, though, has frequently found herself the target of sexist online attacks and was more than prepared to battle Morgan until he relinquished his keyboard.

“Nude? Where? My breast nor my vagina was showing and my legs were closed,” she wrote. “I am assuming you are referring to the pubic hair that was shown in the picture.

“Uncomfortable? Get over it.”

You may also like

Piers Morgan drops sexist high heels campaign after being forced to wear stilettos on TV

Rose then redirected Morgan’s attention to a naked photo of Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.

“Still attention-seeking or nah?” she asked him provocatively.

Morgan, scrambling to point out that it’s very, very different when men strip off for the camera, replied: “No, that was Adam Levine raising awareness for a UK prostate and testicular cancer charity.”

Shaking her head over Morgan’s double standards, Rose pointed out that her photo had also been posted to raise awareness for a foundation.

“That’s like saying breast cancer awareness is cool, but what about HIV and Aids,” she tweeted. “So my ‘naked’ body offended you for my non-profit SLUTWALK but a woman grabbing Adam Levine’s dick and balls was cool?”

She then made sure to post her photo “one more time for the haters”.

Speaking last year about her own Slut Walk, Rose said: “I have millions of people scrutinising me and telling me I deserve to be slut-shamed. It’s made me more passionate to do what I do.”

She continued: “It’s an extreme form of bullying that we deal with as women and it’s really unfortunate, but I like to be the voice to bring confidence to women and bring awareness to everyone.”

Founded in Toronto in 2011, the initial Slut Walk protest was organised in response to a Canadian police officer telling a crowd of college women that “if they wanted to avoid sexual assault, they shouldn’t dress like sluts.”

Image: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

Recommended by Kayleigh Dray

People

Amber Rose turns the table on slut-shaming in hilarious new video

“I respect that you enjoyed yourself last night.”

Posted by
Harriet Hall
Published
People

Myleene Klass has a fierce message for slut-shaming social media trolls

The classical musician is sick of being told to “cover up” her body

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
People

Piers Morgan apologises to Ariana Grande over Manchester attack tweets

“I misjudged you… and I apologise”

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
People

#WomanUp: Twitter responds to Piers Morgan’s misogynist bulls**t

The ladies of the internet are in formation

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
People

GBBO’s Selasi takes Piers Morgan to task over Mary Berry’s spag bol

Nobody insults our Bezza and gets away with it

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published