There’s a long history of tossing things on stage to show appreciation (or disdain) for performers. For those who really woo the crowd, it’s not unusual to see flowers, stuffed animals, and undergarments flung at a performer’s feet. If someone is less than entertaining, they might face an onslaught of rotten tomatoes or beer bottles. Most recently, one performer has inspired fans to throw so much food that it has caused reps for Skittles to step in and release an official statement asking them to stop.
Last week during a Los Angeles performance as part of Harry Styles’ Love on Tour an overzealous fan threw Skittles at the singer. In a TikTok video capturing the moment, Styles is pretty clearly pelted right in the eye by a Skittle tossed by a fan. He managed to shake it off and continue bowing to the crowd, but that had to hurt.
According to TODAY, this has been a pattern during this tour: over the summer another fan threw a chicken nugget at the singer, which was especially off the mark because Styles doesn’t eat meat. What’s different this time around is that Skittles stepped up to say something. (Big Chicken Nugget, your silence is deafening.)
Skittles not only took to social media with several posts reminding people to not throw Skittles but also took out a full page ad in The Los Angeles Times reading “Protect the rainbow. Taste the rainbow. But please, don’t throw the rainbow.”
Of course this isn’t the first time a performer has been pelted with food, and not even the first time an androgynous British superstar has been stuck in the eye with some candy while on stage. Back in 2004, David Bowie was hit in the eye with a lollipop thrown from the crowd during a show in Oslo, Norway. According to TODAY, Bowie didn’t quite keep his composure as Styles did, demanding the culprit to come forward. Still, the Norwegian press called it one of his best concerts ever.
In some cases, the instances became so much that they affected a band’s future performances. Foo Fighters stopped playing the song “Big Me,” which uses its video to skewer Mentos, because every time they’d perform it live they’d get pelted with Mentos, Gigwise reported in 2005. There are almost no positive outcomes of tossing candy at your favorite musician, so take the memo from Skittles and just stop throwing things—candy is for eating, and we should keep it that way.