Paramore announced that they will no longer play their breakthrough hit “Misery Business” during live sets, after years of debate over whether the song’s lyrics are considered anti-feminist.
Frontperson Hayley Williams made the announcement Saturday in Nashville during the final date of their “After Laughter” tour.
“This is a choice that we’ve made because we feel that we should, we feel like it’s time to move away from it for a little while,” she told the hometown crowd. “This is to every bad decision that led us here, this is to all the embarrassing things we might have said, but we owned up to it and we grew.”
The debate has surrounded the second verse, “Once a whore, you’re nothing more, I’m sorry, that will never change,” which Williams has said she wrote when she was 17, and which she did not sing on Saturday night.
The song has been surrounded by controversy for many years: In 2015 Williams wrote a Tumblr post
about it, in which she said:
“i read a couple comments today about how i can’t be feminist or whether or not i’m a “good” feminist. to speak specifically to one of those comments, i’ll say this: Misery Business is not a set of lyrics that I relate to as a 26 year old woman. i haven’t related to it in a very long time. those words were written when i was 17… admittedly, from a very narrow-minded perspective. it wasn’t really meant to be this big philosophical statement about anything. it was quite literally a page in my diary about a singular moment i experienced as a high schooler.”