Twenty One Pilots Singer Trending on Twitter for Taking Stance on Black Lives Matter
Twenty One Pilots singer Tyler Joseph is trending on Twitter this morning for a simple tweet that has divided his followers who have both been critical and defended the vocalist. The tweet in question simply read "Black Lives Matter."
The Black Lives Matter movement started in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012. The movement gained further momentum in 2014 following the deaths of Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York City. And it was at the forefront of protests last year when George Floyd was killed while being detained by Minneapolis police officers. It was captured on video, sparking outrage. Not to mention Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her home by police, and countless other Black Americans who have died as a result of racism and prejudice.
There is a history to the divisiveness this new tweet from Joseph has caused, as last September the singer cracked a joke online about using his platforms to spread a message in a since deleted tweet. A Twitter follower shared a screen shot of that tweet in response to his latest Black Lives Matter posting. It was part of a lengthier discussion that Joseph was engaging in at the time.
Shortly after the initial backlash, Joseph responded on Twitter, "My tweet wasn’t suppose 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." That was followed by a tweet linking Black Lives Matter resources.
Joseph later addressed the regrettable nature of the joke during a livestream that has been shared in a video tweet below.
"A few months ago I tweeted out a tweet that was kind of poking fun at using your platform. I want to take the opportunity, the moment to apologize. That I was wrong and I shouldn't have done it. I see now how it could have hurt some people and it did hurt people," said Joseph. "I wish I could take it back but I can't and I'm truly sorry. I hope you can forgive me for it and I understand that some people will feel this is not enough of an apology and that's okay."
The singer also spoke of threats to himself and his family he received after the joke tweet and having the mindset that not addressing it publicly might make it just go away, but felt he needed to share his apology again to hopefully make the threats happen less.
With Joseph once again tweeting out Black Lives Matter on Twitter, he's received a mixed reaction of those calling out the musician for being "too late" with his support and others defending him for now stepping forward. The tweet has amassed over 4,000 responses, with a sampling of responses below.
Learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement by checking out this list of resources.