At a recent Slipknot show, frontman Corey Taylor slapped a phone out of someone's hand who was right up front and fairly immersed in using the device. While I'd be willing to wager Taylor didn't know under what context the fan was using his device (family emergency? Trying to bone a co-worker?), under a fair amount of circumstances I'd say it's at least a little rude to be right up in an artist's face and ignore them.
Now Taylor explains why he chose to knock it out of the dude's hands, courtesy of the The Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“You watch people walk down the street, and they can’t get their beaks out of their stupid phones to cross the street. I love watching people get buried in their tiny little technological worlds, and then reality comes and smacks them in the face.
I don’t mind people who take pictures. I don’t even mind people who shoot video. I love that because you’re still engaged in the show. A lot of people get the wrong idea, they think that if I just see someone on their phone, I’m trying to rage quit their fun. I’m not trying to do that at all.
But if I see someone, and it’s so obvious they’re not even there, you’ve got to poke them with a stick to get their attention sometimes. Sometimes that means smacking the phone out of their hands. You can hate me all you want. It’s not going to stop me from smacking those things out of people’s hands.”
Fair enough. Taylor seems like a guy who knows where he stands on a lot of things, and sticks to those convictions. However, Taylor then took to his Twitter, where he bashed media outlets for reporting on what he deems a non-story.
DEAR MEDIA FUCKING OUTLETS: PLEASE STOP FUCKING ASKING ME ABOUT CELLPHONES AT GIGS. THIS IS NOT NEWS. TRY FUCKING HARDER. ASSHATS.
— Corey Taylor (@CoreyTaylorRock) August 23, 2016
I've said it in a multitude of my stories recently and I'll say it again – if you're a public figure, everything you do is under scrutiny at all times. That's the caveat that makes fame a little less sweet. If you're straight up slapping a phone out of someone's hands in a public venue jam packed with people, and then share the video on your own band's Facebook page, word is going to get out. When it gets out the media is going to report on it and ask you about it, because news outlets tend to report on news.
It's not a matter of the media having to "TRY FUCKING HARDER." It's a matter of public figures not giving the outlets something to constantly berate them about. Therein lies the difference.