From Glastonbury to the BET Awards, performers are using the stage to send a middle finger to the court.
After the Supreme Court delivered its devastating reversal of Roe Versus Wade this past Friday, many Americans have been sent into a state of shock and sadness. The decision overturned 50 years of reproductive freedoms that the landmark court case had established as what many considered legal precedent. Now that the right to an abortion has been sent back to the states to decide, leaving millions of women without options and facing terrifying realities like potential jail time for seeking abortion care, people are loudly speaking out about the unjust decision that defies a roughly 60% support for pro-choice policies in the country. In moments like these people look to those with influence to help set the stage for protest, and musicians delivered this past weekend. With both the BET Awards and the UK’s Glastonbury Festival taking place, artists found plenty of stages to take a stand on.
Megan Thee Stallion
Megan called out the Supreme Court in true Hot Girl fashion during her Glastonbury set on Saturday, pausing her performance to say, “You know I wouldn't be me if I didn't say something about these stupid-ass men. I mean, goddamn. What else you want?” She continued, “Texas really embarrassing me right now; y’all know that’s my home state,” and gave a double thumbs-down while the crowd booed in agreement. “And I want to have it on the motherfucking record that the hot boys and the hot girls do not support this bullshit that y’all campaign for. My body is my motherfucking choice,” she added, before leading the crowd in a chant of “my body, my motherfucking choice.”
Lorde also delivered an impassioned speech during her Glastonbury set on Sunday beginning, “Welcome to sadness.” She continued, “The temperature is unbearable until you face it. Wanna hear a secret, girls? Your bodies were destined to be controlled and objectified since before you were born.” She added, “That horror is your birthright. But here’s another secret. You possess ancient strength. Ancient widsom. Wisdom that has propelled every woman that came before you. That wisdom is also your birthright. I ask you today, make exercising that wisdom your life’s work because everything depends on it. Fuck the Supreme Court.”
At her Friday set at Glastonbury, Bridgers expressed her anguish beginning, “I'm having the shittiest day.” She asked the crowd, “Are there Americans here? Who wants to say fuck the Supreme Court?” She then led the crowd in a chant of “Fuck the Supreme Court.” She added, “Fuck that shit, fuck America. Like all these irrelevant motherfuckers trying to tell us what to do with our fucking bodies.” Bridgers has been vocal about abortion rights since the Supreme Court’s plans to overturn the ruling were leaked in May by Politico. She wrote on Twitter, “I went to Planned Parenthood where they gave me the abortion pill. It was easy. Everyone deserves that kind of access.”
Marren Morris said in a statement to Rolling Stone on Friday, “I chose to try for a baby at 29. I waited until I was financially secured enough to do so, so my husband and I could provide him with everything he needed. We were lucky and got pregnant three months later. As mothers do, I really tried to think of every detail I could before he came into this world to keep him safe; pediatrician, hospital, crib, nursery sound machine, even future school he would someday go to. Every choice, every decision, a thoughtful one. Today, I hold my two-year-old son with tears streaming down my face because all my love and planning still wasn’t enough to protect him from being born in a country who could do this to women. Women, the ones who gave each Supreme Court Justice on the bench the right to be here, the dexterity of their pen hand. Tomorrow I will fight, but today I am grieving.”
While closing out Glastonbury Sunday night wearing a bejeweled crown of thorns, K. Dot gave his protest a biblical feeling. He ended his headlining set with “Savior” off of his latest Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. He energetically rapped at the end, “They judge you, they judge Christ/Godspeed for women’s rights!” and dropped the mic.
At the BET Awards on Sunday, Monaé set the tone as the first presenter of the evening. She put her middle finger in the air and said from stage, “Fuck you, Supreme Court.” She continued: “I’d like to give a special, special shoutout to Black women, to Black queer artists, to Black nonbinary artists. These artists making art on our own terms, owning our truths and expressing ourselves freely and unapologetically in a world that tries to control and police our bodies, my body, and our decisions, my decision. ... Fuck you, Supreme Court. I know we are celebrating us right now, as we should — we absolutely deserve to celebrate especially now. We must celebrate our art by protecting our right and our truths.”
Taylor Swift took to Twitter on Friday to speak up about the ruling. “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.” The “All Too Well” singer also reshared a passionate statement by Michelle Obama, which read in part, “This is what our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers lived through, and now here we are again.”
During her Saturday set at Glastonbury, Olivia Rodrigo had a special guest in tow to add gusto to her fuck you to the Supreme Court. “I’m devastated and terrified [by the recent ruling] and so many women and girls are going to die because of this,” she said, “and I wanted to dedicate this next song to the five members of the Supreme Court who showed us at the end of the day they truly don’t give a shit about freedom.” She then brought out Lily Allen to duet Allen’s 2009 hit “Fuck You.”
Eilish made a point to address the issue during her Friday set at Glastonbury, which also made her the youngest headliner to ever perform at the festival. “Today is a really, really dark day for women in the US,” she began. “I’m just going to say that because I can’t bear to think about it any longer.” She then dedicated her song about men abusing power, “Your Power,” to everyone suffering from the overwhelming reversal of women’s rights.