lily allen says fuck you very much, piers morgan
“Because we hate what you do, and we hate your whole crew, so please don’t stay in touch.”
On Friday, Lily Allen released her latest album, No Shame. It’s the kind of melancholic pop brilliance that makes you hijack the Uber pool’s AUX cord on the 4AM ride home. Lyrically, she traces the minutiae of this world’s mindfuckery, juxtaposing sweet vocals with restrained production that feels emblematic of how we numbly muddle through all this crap, glossing over it by pretending we don’t care. "Come on Then" probes the paradox of people surmising your personality based on social media, when really nobody has a clue and you’re actually very lonely. "Lost My Mind" is about gaslighting: being treated like shit and thinking you’re the one losing it. There’s empathy too: "Three" is from the perspective of her three year old kid, "Family Man" from the title’s namesake. "Trigger Bang" is about not being able to hang out with the cool kids anymore because their dependence on coke will fuck you up. It’s a brutally honest portrait of a 30-something year old woman dealing with fame, fractured relationships, and motherhood.
As the saying goes, when a ballsy young woman expresses an opinion on the world, an old white man will have a searing hot take on it. Piers Morgan has been excelling in his career as Authoritative White Male Voice on various women’s issues -- from insinuating certain woman are begging to be objectified on the red carpet, to branding everyone who watches Love Island “sex-crazed, money-grabbing, amoral wastrels”, to issuing an RIP to beauty on account of Miss Universe shedding the bikini section (perhaps he should check out our Beauty Week?).
So, to Lily: on Thursday, she tweeted a video about being invited on Good Morning Britain, and how they later kindly offered Lily to cancel her appearance following a row between the pair. She didn’t, so they did it themselves. Not because she’s a woman, Piers was at pains to point out, but because she’s “annoying.”
Meanwhile, Camilla Long over at The Times has similar issues with Lily’s outspokenness. She recently penned the piece, “Lily Allen’s got a new album to promote and... oh, did you know she’s been harassed too?” -- a dangerously patronizing title undermining the #MeToo movement’s progress in actually getting people to take take women’s claims seriously. The crux of the piece is that Allen is only talking about her sexual harassment experiences to sell an album she “[doesn’t] need to make” (never mind the fact that as a musician, making albums is kind of her job). She also implies that Lily is doing a disservice to all women by not naming her harasser. Meanwhile, Camilla’s colleague Will Hodgkinson is very busy moaning about Lily Allen’s moaning: “If self-pity is the modern malaise, Lily Allen certainly proves up to date on No Shame.”
It’s a lazy, toxic response to an honest album, one that treads the age-old path of diminishing women’s voices whenever they speak out honestly. While simultaneously, paradoxically, condemning them for not being open enough: “you crumble and mumble something about being harassed but not really wanting to stand up and call the bastard out.” -- Camilla Long on Lily.
Not that Lily lost any time returning the middle finger to the trolls, dedicating her song "Fuck You" to Piers at her G-A-Y London gig last night. Because really, if Piers Morgan liked her music, she’d be doing it wrong.