Melanie Martinez, an American Electropop singer, has been accused of rape by her former best friend, Timothy Heller. Many of the responses I have seen to this news are extremely concerning. An overwhelming amount of comments on Heller’s post where she recalls the night that Martinez raped her were from Martinez’s fan base. They refused to believe Heller’s story and adamantly defended Martinez because they felt that they knew the “real her” and that the entire story was made up for attention. There were other fans that went as far to say that even if Martinez had raped someone, it does not matter because as loyal fans, they should support her through anything.
Being a fan of someone should never cloud your judgment. Celebrities have to be held accountable for their actions just as much as any other person. Martinez’s fans should not even be labeling themselves as fans anymore since it has now been revealed that she is a rapist. Continuing to defend her and say you will still be a fan only puts her in a position of power over her victim.
I was also a fan of Melanie Martinez. I thought her music was catchy and that her look was unique, but none of that mattered once I found out that she had raped someone. Heller’s story is much more important than any sort of connection I felt that I had to Martinez’s music. I understand that it can be difficult to let go of an artist that had a positive impact on your life, but her true colors have been shown and sticking your head in the sand will not change that. Attacking Heller because you do not want to believe her story is hateful and pathetic. No art is more valuable than the life of another person.
And to the people that felt high and mighty for never listening to Martinez’s music or becoming a fan of her, you are missing the point. You are not superior to the people that had been fans. Prior to Heller having the bravery to come out with her story, nobody knew that Martinez was a rapist. It was no one’s fault for labeling themselves as a fan in the past because everyone assumed she was just a nice girl that made good music. The only actions that matter is the ones that people take now. If someone still supports Martinez even though they know she is a rapist, then that proves that they are a horrible person and that they do not care about human rights at all. However, you cannot criticize people who were fans but then left her fan base after discovering the news. The only people that should be receiving backlash are Martinez’s fans that have been sending hate to Heller.
Heller’s account should be believed and met with an overwhelming amount of support. It does not matter that Martinez is a woman or that she is a celebrity. A rapist is a rapist and she should be punished. Sending death threats to Heller for speaking up solves nothing because it silences other victims and makes them fearful to ever come forward with their story.
The public needs to take Heller’s story seriously. A common belief is that rape can only happen if it is a man raping a woman, which is why so many people have been dismissing Heller's story. Rape is not exclusive to any gender. Just because we hear about men raping women the most does not mean that other cases do not exist.
I commend Heller for being much more courageous than I have ever been, and I hope she gets the justice that she deserves.