Well, that’s not very punk! Avril Lavigne, who made chipped nail polish and smudged eyeliner cool for a generation of middle schoolers, has seemingly switched sides and now works for the Man. We’re kidding—but while onstage at the 2023 Juno Awards on Monday, March 13, the “Sk8er Boi” singer did tell a topless protestor to “get the fuck off, bitch.” So another way of looking at this is that she handled a weird moment professionally. It’s, to borrow Lavigne’s word, complicated!
Lavigne was onstage not to perform but to introduce musician AP Dhillon when a woman wearing pink pants, a pink bandana, and heart-shaped nipple pasties joined her. The activist get a chance to speak to the audience, but with “Save the Greenbelt” and “Land Back” written on her body, she made her point clear. (Also, with the glasses…Kyrsten Sinema vibes, no?) Watch the moment here.
People reports that the action was to protest a land development project that would erect 50,000 new homes on formerly protected land in the next two years. (Here’s more on the issue, if you’re interested.)
Lavigne managed not to lose her cool and continued with her planned remarks while security tried to hustle the woman away. She eventually addressed the stage crasher with a pointed “Get the fuck off…. Get the fuck off, bitch.” The singer seemed more annoyed than angry, honestly. Imagine if Taylor had pulled this line on Kanye back in the day.