Robbie Williams is winning the internet after screenshots of him giving the finger during opening ceremony flooded Twitter Thursday morning. Social media is awash with screen-grabs and clips of his performance at the opening ceremony of the World Cup when he gave the camera the finger during the show, and Twitter had mixed reactions.
Thousands in the Luzhniki Stadium sang in unison with Williams as while he gave the middle finger, but nobody is quite sure why he did it.
The World Cup ceremony opened today with one of the UK’s popular artists, Robbie Williams, taking to the stage in front of millions of viewers. He performed some of his greatest hits at the Russian stadium, in a performance that was streamed worldwide.
He was an absolutely hit with Twitter users, who didn’t miss a beat and immediately started flooding the site with clips. Some were baffled at what they saw, others questioned their sanity, not completely certain about what they saw.
One user shared: “Robbie Williams showed the middle finger while performing in the opening ceremony of FIFA World Cup 2018. Or did I hallucinate? Any idea folks?”
Another wrote: “The
#WorldCup is off to an outstanding start with Robbie Williams flipping off the camera and Putin appearing with pom-pom boobs.”
And with screenshots of an incident like this obviously comes memes. Users didn’t spare any time creating memes of Robbie Williams, specifically centering around Toni Kroos, a professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder for Spanish club Real Madrid and the German national team, and who also has a fondness for Williams.
Kroos isn’t shy about being a huge fan of Williams, so the memes came quickly.
However, not everybody thought Williams’ act was funny. Many Twitter users were outraged and blasted him for being “tasteless” and claiming he was “desperate for attention,” among many vulgar names.
Thousands of fans were packed inside the sold-out stadium to witness the dazzling opening ceremony – which was watched by an estimated one billion people worldwide.
One angry user wrote: “Robbie Williams swearing at the camera at the opening ceremony of the World Cup just shows you what a tactless and classless person he is. Absolutely disrespectful and coupled with a nonchalant performance. He won’t care though. He will still get paid millions for it.”
According to ESPN, Williams was already under fire and was being criticized in both Russia and England before the event for agreeing to participate in the ceremony.
“The 44-year-old had said he was told not to use his song “Party Like a Russian,” which Pro-Kremlin media outlets suggested mocked Russian oligarchs, while critics in England objected to Williams performing at such a major event for a country that has been accused of human rights abuses,” ESPN said.
There was some speculation that he was perhaps giving the middle finger to all of the naysayers for attacking his decision to perform at the ceremony, but no specific reason has been confirmed yet. Heavy will continue to update as more information is known.