Twenty One Pilots frontman Tyler Joseph apologized for a controversial joke about using his platform to show support for movements like Black Lives Matter. Joseph, 31, shared a photo of his "platforms," giant platform sneakers. The joke was seen as insensitive, so the "Stressed Out" singer sent out several tweets Wednesday apologizing and told his 2 million followers he does support Black Lives Matter and also raised awareness for mental health.
The controversy started Wednesday afternoon when Joseph shared the platform shoe photos. "You guys keep asking me to use my platforms. Feels good to dust these bad boys off," he wrote. This caused an instant backlash, leading Joseph to openly discuss mental health and where he was coming from with his attempt at a joke. "I use music, humor, being alone, breaks from social media, family, uncomfortable and honest conversations with friends, and sometimes crying," he wrote in one message. "A few tools, but they don’t all work for everyone. find what helps you take back ground lost."
you guys keep asking me to use my platforms.— tyler jøseph (@tylerrjoseph) September 2, 2020
feels good to dust these bad boys off. pic.twitter.com/CFyMOIkKgC
Joseph shared several statistics and facts about mental health, as well as a link to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. "Starting September 6th is national suicide prevention awareness week. what does that mean exactly? I don’t know. but if it can get a single person’s attention at the right time, it’s everything," he wrote, adding the hashtag "Keep going." In another tweet, Joseph said he respects "all the warriors out there fighting for different causes," adding, "There is honor in it, purpose, and it can make our world better. I just want to remind you what I’m fighting for: your mental health is more important today than it ever has been. you’re not alone."
However, Joseph lost whatever goodwill he may have attained with his mental health tweets by later tweeting he was "doubling down" on his platform tweet, which he called "fantastic." Many found this to be inappropriate, which inspired Joseph to finally post a real apology. "My tweet wasn't suppose to be about human rights. so in case, you are wondering where I stand: Black Lives Matter," he wrote. "I just 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." He later said he is "truly sorry if I hurt anyone" and provided a link to the Black Lives Matter website.
Joseph and Josh Dun make up the group Twenty One Pilots. They are best known for their hits "Stressed Out," "Ride" and "Heathens." They won a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Stressed Out." Their most recent album, Trench, was released in 2018.