Tags: rihanna | broadway play | texting

Rihanna Slammed for Texting During Play; Sparks Heated Debate

rihanna attends the 5th annual diamond ball sept. 12, 2019, in new york.
Rihanna (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 September 2019 11:35 AM

Rihanna is facing massive backlash after she was caught texting during the middle of a Broadway play over the weekend.

Members in the audience were growing increasingly agitated when play writer Jeremy O. Harris held the curtain during the showing of "Slave Play" for the 31-year-old singer, who was running late.

What got their blood boiling was that when Rihanna finally arrived, she took out her phone and proceeded to start texting.

It was not long before irate audience members took to social media to air their grievances but things really blew up when Harris tried to explain the situation and defend the pop star, who he claimed was messaging him during the show.

"Two things I learned today about the Type of theatre maker I am," he wrote in a tweet. "When my idol texts that she’s running late. I hold the curtain for her.  When my idol texts me during a play I’ve written, I respond."

What ensued was a Twitter war and soon Harris also was being slammed.

"This is really rude to the rest of your audience and your colleagues," one person replied to Harris, adding that it was his responsibility to condemn such behavior.

Another Twitter user pointed out the irony that the ushers in the orchestra were "rampantly shining torches at anyone with their phone on In the -20- minute wait for RiRi to show up late.... then she sits there texting throughout and.. nah, that’s ok! Go ahead."

The ordeal sparked a heated debate on etiquette and also led to a larger conversation on race- a prominent theme of "Slave Play."

"Not to constantly be that guy, but theater etiquette as we know it today has been defined by predominantly white audiences and artists based on predominantly Euro-centric performance traditions," @saybarra wrote in thread. "And it feels tricky to me to continue upholding it all for the sake of...what?"

British theater academic Kirsty Sedgman, who wrote a book on theater etiquette, also weighed in on the matter, agreeing that the "mode of silent reverence is relatively new - and absolutely bound up in white-suprematist campaigns to 'civilise' the masses through art."

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Rihanna is facing massive backlash after she was caught texting during the middle of a Broadway play over the weekend.
rihanna, broadway play, texting
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 11:35 AM
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