Shawn Mendes blasted for 'distastefully' using wildfires to promote song

Shawn Mendes has caught fans completely off guard by announcing a new song last night – except not all are happy with his marketing campaign.

After stepping away from his tour last summer to look after his mental health, it appears the 24-year-old Treat You Better hitmaker is back.

Posting on social media last night, the Canadian singer uploaded a picture of the New York skyline engulfed in smoke from the wildfires that are blazing in his native country, leaving thousands of homes destroyed.

Embedded in the eerie picture were the words: ‘What the hell are we dying for?’

In the caption, the star wrote the title of his new song, ‘WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DYING FOR ?’, and simply added the release time of ‘MIDNIGHT ET’.

Given the orange, smoky hue that’s cast over New York in the past week, city dwellers have been warned to stay indoors and to wear a mask, with the air ranked the worst in the world on Monday.

This comes after Jodie Comer had to halt her Prima Facie Broadway show a few days ago, citing breathing difficulty with the bad air.

Given the scale of the air quality issue – not to mention the devastation the wildfires are causing in Canada – some people weren’t too happy with Shawn’s promotion.

One person wrote: ‘Canada burning was just shawn mendes promo?😭 [sic].’

Another asked: ‘Why are you trying to profit off a natural disaster,’ while someone else said: ‘Ppl are dying in wildfires n getting sick by the poor air quality n u rlly decided to make it ur aesthetic?’ [sic]

One other wrote: ‘Whoever approved the photo should be fired…truly distasteful.’

Others didn’t seem to mind, as one fan wrote: ‘IVE NEVER BEEN CAUGHT MORE OFF GUARD IN MY LIFE.’


But Shawn soon took to Instagram again and cleared up confusion as to why he was linking his new single to the Canadian wildfires.

Posting a picture of a cute polaroid snap, the star wrote: ‘WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DYING FOR ? OUT NOW.

‘Started writing this song yesterday morning with my friends in upstate New York & finished it only a few hours ago..felt important to me to share with you guys in real time ♥️♥️.

‘Also donating to Canadian Red Cross, head to the link in my bio to learn more or donate if you can ❤️‍🩹.’

To this, fans commented with love and some praised Shawn for his quick work, as one said: ‘On repeat now , amazing & meaningful. What are we as humans doing? 🎶🌲🌎.’

Others, however, think the lyrics nod more to his on-off relationship with Camila Cabello, and less to the climate crisis.

One follower pointed this out, as they wrote: ‘i mean i luv u shawn, but u prolly should’ve left recent tragic events out of a song about camila. at this point, song profits should go towards the red cross/ fighting the climate crisis at least. 🤷🏽‍♀️’ [sic]

Another said: ‘I was really excited bc I thought it was gonna be a climate crisis song but I don’t get that from it.’ [sic]

The lyrics go: ‘Smoke in the air, the city’s burning down / I wanna speak, but I don’t make a sound / Locked in my mind, you’re all I think about (Mm) / I wanna save us but I don’t know how.’

This comes after it was reported yesterday that Shawn and singer Camila have ‘split again six weeks after getting back together.’

The pair were previously together for two years before they called it quits in 2021.

Recently, rumours spread that the pair could be back on after they were seen ‘kissing’ at Coachella, but it now appears it was not meant to be.

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