Allies defend Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith’s Coachella moment

The long-time friends shared a sweet moment at Coachella. (@daydayred_/Instagram)

Bigots have raged over Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith sharing a cute moment at Coachella, but LGBTQ+ allies have had the last word.

A video went viral of the long-time friends backstage at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Smith was captured hugging Bieber from behind and sharing a harmless dance moment with him before the singer kissed Smith on the cheek.

No matter what you think about the “Never Say Never” duo – of which Smith’s rap verse lives rent-free in our heads – there’s no excuse for the onslaught of homophobic hate the pair received. 

Bigots took to X (formerly Twitter) to rinse the childhood friends for the interaction, even trying to use the word “gay” as a slur. Some commenters even tried to compare the seemingly innocent, consensual interaction to the allegations against P. Diddy, the rapper and producer accused of sexual assault.

Beneath a repost of the video from @theshaderoom, some comments read: “This the most diddyest diddyin that ever did diddy,” “When did grinding on each other become the new greeting between men? Can we go back to handshakes please,” and “A Bieber back hug followed by a Smith Smooch is freaky work.”

Advocates of the LGBTQ+ community had the last word, however. “They’ve known eachother since they were kids. Get over it,” one person responded, while another added in defence of the pair: “From the comments it seems the only time we feel men are ‘real men’ is when they’re shooting at each other and violent.”

Others noted how it’s generally more socially acceptable for women to “kiss their friends” without stigma or shame. “Society is such double standards is terrible,” one commenter rightly said.

“So much bigotry in the comments. Men are allowed to be affectionate,” another echoed.

Not that their actions – which are perfectly acceptable – need to be justified, but Bieber and Smith have been friends for well over a decade. They first collaborated in 2010 with the theme song for the reboot of The Karate Kid, and have been friends ever since

Although Bieber has never identified as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and has been married to Hailey Bieber since 2018, Smith called Tyler, The Creator his boyfriend during his appearance at Flog Gnaw Carnival music festival.

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