Hayley Williams, the frontwoman of pop-punk band Paramore, has never shied away from talking politics. An outspoken advocate for reproductive rights and numerous other progressive causes, Williams and her bandmates are back to advocating for marginalized groups mid-set this festival season. The band took the stage at Boston Calling in Cambridge, Massachusetts last weekend. A clip of Williams saying “if you vote for Ron DeSantis, you’re f*cking dead to me,” at the show is now making the rounds online.
Williams and several of her bandmates hail from Franklin, Tennessee. The state is one of a growing list working to limit LGBTQ+ rights, ban critical race theory, and restrict abortion access. The singer wore a shirt that read “abort the Supreme Court” onstage, in reference to the 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 29, 2023
The Paramore singer’s impassioned plea to young concertgoers came days after current GOP Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced he would run for president via Twitter spaces. DeSantis notoriously was the architect behind the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” which restricts LGBTQ+ related educational content in public schools. The band’s progressive outlook is being applauded across social media, especially as Pride Month begins.
— ⸆⸉ BUY CRUEL SUMMER BY TAYLOR SWIFT ⁷ (@NotBGeneus) June 1, 2023
Social Media Reactions
Others note that Williams frequently takes a stand for progressive causes, despite the risk of offending the more conservative environment in which her career began. The singer and her bandmates, currently Taylor York and Zac Farro, continue to speak out in spite of this, maintaining that they can only hope that their fan base reflects their own values.
???????????????? She said: pic.twitter.com/XMe0cEr1bU
— Andouille Hava’ Problem? (@gotdamnocles) June 1, 2023
A Fan Theory
In the days following Williams’ statement, a fan gave her a Taylor Swift-themed friendship bracelet that read “Speak Now.” Paramore performed with Swift on the opening night of “The Eras Tour” in Glendale, Arizona. The pair have remained friends for decades since meeting as young musicians in Nashville in the early 2000s.
Swift is releasing the re-recorded edition of “Speak Now” this summer on July 7. The singer told the young fan that the timing of the bracelet was “very interesting”, leading some to wonder if she intends to launch an activism campaign or simply feature on Swift’s new re-release album.
hayley williams mentioning speak now???? pic.twitter.com/KTqygme93E
— ???? (@concertleaks) June 1, 2023
Regardless of what Paramore has up their sleeve, one thing remains clear–that they are not in the business of misery when it comes to American politics.