Singer Madison Beer is under fire after she revealed in an Instagram Q&A that her favorite book is “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov, which tells the story of a middle-aged professor who becomes obsessed (and eventually sexually involved) with a 12-year-old girl.
Not only did Beer say that her favorite book is “Lolita,” but when someone asked her if she “romanticizes” it, she admitted that she does.
“I definitely do, but we’re not gonna talk about that,” Madison said in response to the comment.
Though Lolita is a “masterpiece,” Slate also notes that it is “a disgusting book,” and that “the day will never come when it is not a disgusting book.”
“Public taste was never meant to catch up to Humbert Humbert,” Slate critic Stephen Metcalf wrote, referring to Lolita’s pedophile protagonist.
With that said, the internet unsurprisingly had a visceral reaction to Madison’s confession.
“People literally cry whilst reading Lolita because of how repulsive the story is! It’s actually terrifying that anyone would romanticise abuse,” one person said.
“One can like lolita as a piece of good literature but romanticizing it…. even nabokov doesn’t like it when people took his book the wrong way bc he just wants to bring awareness about the danger of a pedo and their behavior,” another user added.
“The book is meant to make the reader uncomfortable,” a third person noted.
Shortly after Madison revealed how she feels about “Lolita,” the hashtag #MadisonBeerIsOverParty began trending on Twitter. Many people took this opportunity to highlight some of the singer’s past problematic behavior, such as when she lip-synced the N-word in 2016.
In response to all the backlash, the singer issued an apology, noting that she was “too flippant” in her comment about romanticizing “Lolita.”
“I discovered the book several years ago and honestly I really should revisit it and read it through a new lens,” she wrote. “After thinking about how the book is perceived amongst critics and how it remains a compelling piece of work despite its controversies, I think I have allowed that to color how I have viewed it up until this point.”
“I see now that the book is triggering for some people, evoking a very complicated emotional response, and that for some this book is not just an academic exploration of complicated themes and dark characters,” she continued. “I hope as I learn and mature and have time to study the things I love like books, films and art, that I can do better in bringing them to you responsibly and will better be able to express myself.”
In now-deleted tweets, Madison added that she’s always enjoyed “dark” stories.
“I just like it and don’t see it in the way others might … I’ve always said it’s my favorite,” she wrote. “I like dark stories… always have.”
For more on Madison Beer, check out how she angered fans by saying that it’s unfair that she’s considered the beauty standard.
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