Harry Styles was groped onstage by a fan during a performance in L.A. on Saturday, October 22, and the Twitterverse was not happy about it.
The incident, which was captured on camera by some audience members, happened when the former One Direction singer was singing his hit “Kiwi” at the Hollywood Bowl during the We Can Survive concert to benefit breast cancer awareness.
As he got down on his knees near the front of the stage, a fan grabbed at his crotch. Styles appeared briefly disturbed by it and quickly swatted away the person’s hand, continuing his performance, but a moment later as he headed back towards the opposite edge of the stage, he covered his groin with his hand, clearly not willing to get grabbed for a second time.
— ً (@___VXXIIS) October 22, 2017
“You can tell it freaked him out a little because as he continued performing, he avoided the section that fan was standing in,” an eyewitness told Yahoo Celebrity UK.
— JustLikeAna (@kiwisbaby28) October 22, 2017
The hashtag #RespectHarry quickly trended on Twitter after the encounter, with fans taking to social media to express their opinions and condemn the phantom groper.
“Harry deserves appreciation, support and respect from us. Harry is not an object, he is a human, you should always remember that. Treat ALL people with kindness AND respect,” one wrote.
“This is a prime example that men are not the only ones that touch women without permission! Women also sexually assault,” another person tweeted.
“If you grab someone’s dick without their consent, it’s sexual assault,” one fan commented. “Just because Harry’s a male doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the same right as women. You must be absolutely disgusting if you think him kneeling in front of you calls for that. I’m disgusted.”
“Imagine waking up today knowing you sexually assaulted & disrespected the sweetest man on Earth,” another shared.
Some fans also shared a video of a fan at a concert simply touching Styles’ shoe with her index finger as he stood on the stage in front of her. “I mean why couldn’t she be like this girl instead of doing something so disrespectful?” another fan asked.
The incident happened in a week when the #MeToo hashtag trended on social media, with people sharing their stories of sexual harassment and assault in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal. The disgraced Hollywood producer is being investigated by police in London and New York City after several women came forward with claims of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.