Harry Styles’s Best Performance Was His Activism



Nour Kreishan, Video Editor

If Harry Styles is good at anything, it’s performing. Of course, that’s excluding his terrible acting in 2022’s Don’t Worry Darling, and his award-winning music career which should be awarded for how fast it makes me hit the “skip” button. In all reality, it’s Harry Styles’s performative activism that makes him and so many other celebrities adored.

At a concert in Oslo, after a June 25 shooting outside of a nearby LGBTQ+ club, Styles took to the stage to make an emotional statement.

“I just wanna tell you that I’m very sorry, and I hope you all feel safe in here,” Styles said as he held up a rainbow pride flag. 

Many in Harry Styles’s fan base identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community, so this quote resided warmly with many. However, I question if his wish for queer people to feel safe at his concerts was insincere, considering three months earlier, Styles performed at the music festival Coachella. 

Coachella’s owner, Philip Anschutz, donates earnings from Coachella and other investments to several homophobic organizations, including the National Christian Foundation (NCF) according to SCREENSHOT Media magazine. 

From 2015 to 2017, the NCF donated over $56 million to 23 organizations identified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Many of the organizations are anti-LGBTQ+, according to a report from Sludge.

According to Variety, British heartthrob Harry Styles single handedly drew in a crowd of over 100,000 to Coachella, which has a maximum capacity of 125,000. The amount of money Harry Styles earned for Coachella is disheartening, knowing the organizations that Coachella will donate that money to.

Despite how much harm Styles did by performing at a homophobic festival, he avoided backlash by holding up a bisexual pride flag. These minor acts of solidarity are what keep Harry Styles’s reputation high and make him look like an ally in the eyes of his fanbase.

Cherry Creek High School has many Styles fans, some of whom don’t believe he is problematic. I explained the controversy behind Coachella and Styles performing there, regardless of him waving around a pride flag while doing so.

“Obviously there are two different sides of view because [Styles is] still going [to Coachella] even though it’s homophobic, but also he still went and that took a lot of guts,” sophomore Haley Smith said. “He’s still showing what he believes in even if [the festival] disagrees, which takes a lot of guts, so he’s a good guy.”

Styles is generating money for homophobic organizations, clearly contradicting the “support and allyship” he claims to have for the LGBTQ+ community. Styles fans defending him for the harm he is inflicting is just blatant incompetence, but taking one step further and admiring him for doing the bare minimum amount of support out of insincerity genuinely makes me want to bang my head into a wall. 

I’m not writing this because I am praying for Harry Styles’s downfall or because the song “Watermelon Sugar,” along with most of his songs, makes me feel like a veteran having war flashbacks. Harry Styles is a perfect example of putting a bad role model on a pedestal. 

Harry Styles is idolized to the point where his fans dismiss this poor behavior. If your support impairs your ability to hold someone accountable for their actions, that is not dedication, it’s just unhealthy. Whether it be a celebrity or someone close, do not let admiration blind you. 

“I think some people will be so crazy about someone that they will completely disregard anything that that person does, like anything that Harry has done in the past or what he’s doing now. He needs to be held accountable for those things and definitely not ignored,” Sophomore Charlotte Sumner said.