Ed Sheeran’s recent ‘Dear Natalie Edwards from The Sun Newspaper…’ letter on Instagram came with more savagery than a late night skirmish outside Munchies between a drunken teenager and a tired fast-food worker over some mis-counted nugs. He, justifiably so, and on a significantly sized platform, exposes her disgraceful article, claiming he had railings installed outside his home to stop homeless people sleeping outside it, when in fact it was to keep paparazzi such as herself from invading his privacy. Fine, perfectly justifiable and his anger is understandable.
However, I can’t help but feel that it is a childish way to go about it. Surely, moaning about it on social media in a bitchy and direct post is more reminiscent of Regina George’s ‘Burn Book’ than of a world-renowned, award-winning artist who is a role model for the very teenagers for whom online abuse is such an increasing issue? Obviously, an unfounded and insulting article written about you in a national newspaper is something to get angry about, but a spiteful message about it broadcast on social media? Really? Go to one of the lawyers you pay a disgusting amount of money for and make an official complaint, as hundreds of A-Listers have done before you. Break down this disgraceful and cheap form of journalism by attacking it legally, rather than by actively advertising it to your 27 million followers?[pullquote]A bitchy and direct post is more reminiscent of Regina George’s ‘Burn Book’ than of a world-renowned, award-winning role model[/pullquote]
But this comes after a long list of social media sulks from the ginger singer- he deleted Twitter last summer after receiving criticism for his performance in Game of Thrones, something which was always going to receive mixed reviews, and certainly not the only role in the show which has been criticised. He tweeted another bitchy message about the grilling he got from some fans for doing his whole Glastonbury set acoustically, and for some people questioning his loop-pedal technique. In a creative industry like music, being subjective, you have to be open to criticism and not turn on those who disagree with you, particularly not when they’re your fans. And to be fair to them, I would be disappointed if I had paid (it has to be said, probably too much) to see one of my favourite artists play all of my favourite songs acoustically, without the excellent production and back-up band that feature on the album and are a huge part of why I enjoy the songs anyway! In fact, I would begin to question why he hasn’t bothered to bring a band with him- he’s not exactly short on cash and it would make the whole experience more enjoyable for him and for the audience. Unwillingness to share the stage perhaps?
Sheeran’s excellent musicality and talent for writing hits is worthy of the success he has enjoyed, and it’s understandable that when he is wrongly accused and insulted as a result of this success, lashing out at the culprit is the easy option. However, as someone who is as prominent and looked up to as Ed is, further consideration has to be taken, and bitchy Instagram posts, deleting social media accounts and a moody-teenage-esque reactions to any iota of criticism sent his way isn’t the way to go about it. You’re fab Ed, but a little grace wouldn’t go amiss.