At the 2023 Juno Awards ceremony yesterday (March 13), Avril Lavigne was interrupted by a topless, stage-crashing protestor while introducing a performance by AP Dhillon, handling it in a swift, albeit hilarious manner
It was a memorable night for Lavigne, whose latest album, Love Sux, was released last year, as she earned her fourth fan-voted Fan Choice Award, but this particular ceremony provided other lasting memories as she shooed away an unexpected guest onstage.
The timing of the incident was about as poor as security’s response time, serving as an unwelcome distraction as AP Dhillon, the first Punjabi artist to ever perform at Canada’s annual music awards show, was getting ready to take the stage following Lavigne’s intro.
Sporting pink pants and a matching pink bandana, the bespectacled protestor calmly walked onstage, conveying a message through words written in marker across their arms, torso and back, some of which read, “Land Back, “The Clock Is Ticking 0745 Days Left” and “Save the Green Belt,” all in an apparent reference to a highly controversial development deal in motion in Ontario, Canada’s Greenbelt region, a protected area of farmlands, forests, wetlands and more.
Lavigne did her best to brush aside the protestor and carry on with her scripted introduction, but she eventually caved and addressed the situation directly.
“Get the fuck off,” she says with a laugh before flicking the protestor’s breast, adding, “Get the fuck off, bitch,” followed by more laughter as a security guard then leads the stage-crasher away.
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Footage of the incident has circulated on Twitter and can be viewed directly below.
One Twitter user was taken aback by the lag in security’s response time. More often than not, when we see anyone crash a stage, security guards immediately swarm the person and remove them from the scene, but at the Juno Awards it was pretty lackadaisical.
“A topless idiot walks up onstage while Avril Lavigne is introducing an act and security dude meanders his way up eventually. Avril handled it like most Canadians would,” they wrote.