Weeks after butchering the remix version of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” it seems Justin Bieber is staying away from performing the hit. And though some may approve of his decision, a fan at a recent festival was disappointed and let Bieber know.
Bieber – who doesn’t speak Spanish – has received all sorts of praise for hopping on the mostly Spanish track and been credited as the reason it’s become a massive success. (Though critics have dismissed this, rightfully stating that Fonsi and Daddy Yankee have storied careers and that the original song contributed to the remix’s success.) When he performed the song at 1 OAK in New York City three weeks ago, he handled it poorly. Because he didn’t learn the lyrics, he replaced all the words with “bah bah bah bah bah bah.”
While some may have found it funny, many in the Latino community didn’t. Instead of learning the lyrics, he treated it like a joke. As Jezebel Culture Editor Julianne Escobedo Shepherd told us during a conversation about the song and the exploitation of Latinos in the music industry, “The way he did it, with such disrespect and, to my read, something approaching vitriol, really infuriated me, and also perhaps reflected the true feelings in this country towards Latinx. It came out the same week as the video of that white man in an airport screaming at a Latinx dude for DARING to speak Spanish to his mother in an airport.”
With the criticism leveled at the Biebs, it seems he’s decided to pass on singing it live. On June 10, he performed at the Summerburst Festival in Stockholm, and told the crowd he wouldn’t sing “Despacito.” “I can’t do that specifically, I don’t know the words… I can’t do it,” he said.
As he continued to explain why he couldn’t sing the song, a fan chucked an unidentified flying object in his direction. Bieber ducked just in time and avoided being hit. According to Teen Vogue, there’s no word on whether the person who threw the item was removed from the concert.
Check out the video above.