Social media has become an incredibly powerful tool to advocate for human rights, and many fans are asking the artists they support to use their platforms to share resources and speak up about social issues. Fans of Twenty One Pilots were asking the band to speak up about Black Lives Matter, and Tyler Joseph's response was to tweet "you guys keep asking me to use my platforms. feels good to dust these bad boys off." The tweet also included photos of him wearing platform shoes.
I'm assuming he must've thought his followers would find the tweet funny, but it completely backfired. It is incredibly tone-deaf to joke about your followers asking you to use your platform to educate your audience. He made it seem like they were asking him to tweet about something frivolous and that that was why he felt the need to joke about the request.
I was so disappointed by the tweet because I used to be a huge fan of Twenty One Pilots. They always made it seem like the band stood for what was right and that they wanted to make sure their fanbase felt supported and loved. Joseph's tweet did the exact opposite because I saw many Black Twenty One Pilots fans tweeting about how they felt that he does not care about the struggles they are facing since he made light of the situation.
Fans of the band were in the replies of the tweet telling Joseph how insensitive it was, but instead of immediately apologizing, he published several tweets talking about mental health awareness. He then went on to say, "I really don't know if I can even handle everything that's happening right now" and "mentally/emotionally, I can only carry so much, because what I do care about is so heavy, the thought of adding more on top of it makes me want to stop trying."
While it's understandable that one person cannot carry the weight of the entire world's issues on their own and that speaking about one's mental health is important, it seems like Joseph was using this as a way to avoid taking responsibility for his tweet. And he ultimately contradicted himself by posting these tweets discussing mental health and sharing resources when this was what his audience had been asking him to do for Black Lives Matter in the first place.
And to make the situation even worse, he tweeted that he was "doubling down" on his platform tweet and that he felt it was fantastic. So clearly, even with all of the backlash he got, he did not feel the need to apologize. Joseph simply saw the tweet as an edgy joke. This tweet ended up making everyone even more furious, which led to him explaining that the original tweet was not supposed to be about human rights and that he supports Black Lives Matter. Joseph also said that he "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."
Nobody ever said that mental health awareness could not be raised. His fans were only mad because he chose to talk about mental health as a way to deflect the criticisms he was facing for mocking the fans that asked him to speak up about Black Lives Matter. Joseph's tweet makes it seem like he wants his followers to believe he is the victim in this situation by acting as if nobody cares about what he has to say about mental health. The only reason his audience did not receive those tweets well was because they were put up as damage control.
Joseph then said that he was truly sorry if the tweet hurt anyone and shared the link to a Black Lives Matter Carrd.Maybe this is nitpicky, but I'm not a fan of apologies where someone says they are sorry if they hurt you. You clearly did hurt that person since they are upset, so just own up to your mistake. Hopefully, this can be a learning experience for Joseph and he realizes that there are some jokes that are just not funny.