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Hayley Williams reflects on removing two fans from Madison Square Garden show

05 June 2023, 16:20 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Last week, at Paramore's sold-out Madison Square Garden show, Hayley Williams kicked two fans out of the venue for allegedly fighting.

In a statement via the band's discord page, she reflected on the incident and apologised for making it seem like a "biblical era public execution".

Whilst the band performed "Figure 8" – which has been given its live debut during this North American run of shows – two people in the crowd caught the attention of Williams as they were trying to push towards the front of the crowd.

"Fuck you," she said at the instance in which Paramore had to stop the song. "What is happening?! Yes, I will embarrass both of you. Both of you need to find somewhere else to take care of that shit because that’s not happening here tonight, this is our house,” she continued before kicking the pair out.

After a few days of reflection, Williams has taken to Paramore's discord to share a statement about the events, how the situation was perceived from her perspective, and the discomfort she currently feels about it all, noting that the incident is something she is "really not proud of".

"Our shows are, in a way, a manifestation of my young longing. The childlike hope that if we can just band together for any amount of time, shelter ourselves with strength in numbers, that we can override the horrors of life," the statement began.

She then goes on to describe the situation from what she saw looking into the crowd, and seeing a bigger guy and a smaller girl in the middle of the action: "My insides were triggered from numerous personal experiences not fit for a blog post or a microphone on stage at an arena. My outsides were trying to maintain control of a situation I felt that myself and my bandmates were responsible for. Without the opportunity for a proper back and forth (and with a looming, strict show-curfew in the back of my mind), I bared my teeth like a mother wolf,” Williams explained. “I embarrassed the hell out of these two people, without truly knowing what the situation was. Then, as a group – all 25,000 of us or so – exiled these people from the show in record time.”

"I have not been able to shake the feeling that I abused my responsibility and my platform in that moment [and] that I hurt those two in a way that will outlast the momentary discomfort of their poor concert etiquette," she continued.

"Maybe those two weren’t gonna get it any other way. But we should all try to imagine getting ridiculed and kicked out of a show in front of 10’s of thousands of people,” she said. “When I saw their faces in the video, I didn’t see the smug smiles that some commenters criticised them for. I saw embarrassment and I cried for them. I’m telling you, I haven’t stopped thinking about it.”

Williams then directly addressed the two people and apologised for "whatever shame or embarrassment I may have caused you". "We are all trying to escape the brute force of staying alive and well in the modern world. I'm really not even saying I think there's a "right" or a "wrong" way here. I'm just saying that I’m sorry that I handled the whole situation like the arbiter of the same type of cancel culture that doesn’t often teach or lead in any productive way."

Paramore recently brought out Gen-Z congressman Maxwell Frost to perform "Misery Business", as well as their longtime fan Lil Uzi Vert.

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