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An overzealous fan reached to grabHarry Styles‘ crotch as he performed onstage at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night, an incident that has spurred scores of others to express outrage at what they called a “sexual assault.”
The groping took place during the We Can Survive concert to benefit breast cancer awareness and was captured on camera by a few fans. Styles appeared disturbed and moved the person’s hand away, but continued his performance. He has not commented on the incident.
“Near the end of performing ‘Kiwi,’ like usual, Harry went to the very front of the stage to get the crowd extra excited. He got down onto his knees and was shaking his arms to the music with his eyes closed. A fan then reached out and touched his crotch. He very quickly got up and appeared to also shove their hand a little bit to remove them faster,” an eyewitness told Yahoo! Celebrity U.K. “You can tell it freaked him out a little because as he continued performing, he avoided the section that fan was standing in.”
After videos were posted on social media, the hashtag #RespectHarry began trending on Twitter.
“If you grab someone’s dick without their consent, it’s sexual assault,” user @floralspark wrote. “Just because Harry’s a male doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the same right as women. You must be absolutely disgusting if you think him kneeling in front of you calls for that. I’m disgusted. #respectharry.”
“I’m in tears,” wrote user @Happily_Larry_. “Harry has created such a safe space for everyone, and this is how he’s repaid? Sexual assault? I just… #RespectHarry.”
The incident took place amid recent renewed discussion on social media about sexual assault and harassment, inspired by the more than 50 women who have spoken out about alleged sexual misconduct by producer Harvey Weinstein.
He has apologized for his behavior of colleagues, denied allegations of non-consensual sex and is seeking treatment. Police in Los Angeles, New York and London are investigating a few cases against him.
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