A video of Miranda Lambert scolding selfie-taking fans at her concert is going viral – and the debate about whether she was within her right on The View led to Whoopi Goldberg making a point by walking off the set.
During a performance of her song, Tin Man, at her Velvet Rodeo Las Vegas residency, Miranda addressed a group of women who were taking photos of themselves, saying the following before motioning for the women to put their phones away and starting the song again:
“I’m gonna stop right here for a second. I’m sorry. These girls are worried about their selfie and not listening to the song and it’s pissing me off a little bit. I don’t like it. At all. We’re here to hear some country music tonight, I’m singing some country damn music!”
Since the video went viral, fans have taken Miranda to task, saying she overreacted and lacked etiquette. Whoopi chimed in on the topic on yesterday’s show, saying:
“They don’t wanna be there. If they paid money for the tickets, they paid to see her. So if she’s singing, at least a little respect, acknowledge that if they can see her, she can see them too,” before suggesting Miranda likely felt like a lounge singer during this instance.
Sunny Hostin took the complete opposite approach, saying she had looked up the price of the seat tickets. At $757, she said, anyone who paid that amount of money for those seats had the right to take as many photos as they want. As Sunny concluded presenting her thoughts on the topic, Whoopi eased herself off stage, walking towards an audience member to take a selfie before throwing to commercial.
At first, even before finding out the cost of the ticket, I was on Sunny’s side. Having attended several concerts in my life, I’m no stranger to taking selfies, both alone and with others and recording (cringey) videos of me singing along. And no ticket I’ve paid for has ever cost $757.
But when another angle was shared on social media, my thoughts started to align more with Whoopi’s take on the situation. This video shows that it wasn’t, in fact, a selfie, and the women had actually asked another concertgoer outside their friend group to take a photo. The video shows the group attempting multiple photos with the flash on being taken. All the while, the women had their backs turned to the very person they paid good money to see.
Adela Calin, the woman who posted the photos that caused Miranda to stop the show to her Instagram, spoke to Good Morning America and explained her side of the story. She said she felt like she was "back in school” and did something to annoy the teacher and was told to sit down.
"Everybody was having such a great time. We would stand up at times and dance. It was great energy," Adela said. "But after that happened it was just, um, it was not the same."
This TikToker suggested Miranda take the approach other performers have, people like Carrie Underwood, Adele, Harry Styles, Kelsea Ballerini and Taylor Swift, leaning into selfies when fans whip their phones out, or encouraging their crowds to do whatever they want. While I agree that these performers are all super chill and have a great approach, I can’t knock Miranda’s either.
Performers have taken quite a few hits lately – literally. Bebe Rexha was recently hit in the face and forced to the floor when a crowd member threw a cell phone directly at her. And though it wasn’t in the face, someone also threw a cell phone at Drake while he was performing.
When Adele, in jest, threatened her audience at a Las Vegas concert earlier this month, the reaction was mostly positive. She was taking a stand against the recent string of attacks against performers. It goes to show that performers can try to set the tone for what their expectations of the night will be. It isn’t to say it will stop people from acting like complete jerks during the concert, but if people respect the artist enough, it just might.
Miranda has attempted to set the tone for her performances before. Like in this instance where she tore apart a beach ball that was bouncing around the audience at one of her shows, which earned her the nickname “Karen Lambert”. It’s clear she really cares about singing country music and expects her fans to be present and respectful.
There seem to be a few things at play that contributed to Miranda’s reaction. First is the timing. Performers hardly ever start their shows on schedule, leaving ample time for people like Adela and company to take their photos. While Adela said they did try earlier in the show, the “lighting” was just not good enough. But taking a group photo with your back turned to the star can absolutely be disruptive, especially given how close they were to the stage.
The second thing at play is the song. She was singing Tin Man. It is an emotional song. Perhaps Miranda would have been less annoyed if everyone had been up and dancing and it was less noticeable. This fan shared a video of her with her phone out at a Miranda Lambert concert, explaining why it wasn’t an issue in her case. As she points out, her Las Vegas residency is intimate and acoustic, so Adela and her crew really stuck out like a sore thumb.
Whoopi and Sunny are a perfect representation of the division we’re seeing surrounding this issue. Though the women are relatively close in age, they seem to represent the generational divide that often comes up in situations that have to do with respect or etiquette. While Sunny is of the school of thought that money entitles a person to conduct themselves as they please, Whoopi felt that the money they spent was all the more reason to respect the performer. It was such a non-issue for Whoopi that she quite literally walked away from the conversation because she was so committed to her perspective and understanding of the situation.
While it's nice to see celebrities like Adele and Miranda taking a stand and performing on their terms, there is a way to lay out some ground rules in a way that helps avert some of the backlash we’ve seen in this case, such as putting a sign outside the venue or on the event ticket. But a simple general statement before her performance started would’ve made it a lot harder for people to side with Adela. And more importantly, it would’ve made it less about selfies and more about country damn music.