A visit by young and often unpredictable pop superstar Justin Bieber to the home of Holocaust victim Anne Frank had some observers scratching their heads, comedians reeling off one-liners and many of Bieber’s fans asking, “Who’s Anne Frank?,” Rolling Stone reports.
Bieber wrote in the guestbook at the Anne Frank House: "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber." That last line sparked an Internet firestorm after the museum posted the entry on Facebook.
“The message has largely been derided as narcissistic and self-serving, a sentiment that some of Bieber’s 37 million Twitter followers have sought to counter with messages of support,” the story reports. “Notably, many of his fans have said they didn’t know who Anne Frank was, which has some commentators hoping the whole incident will mean increased expsoure for Frank and ‘The Diary of a Young Girl,’ her chronicle of two years spent hiding from the Nazis in occupied Amsterdam during World War II.”
For its part, the museum had only positive things to say about Bieber, posting on Facebook: "The Anne Frank House was pleased to welcome Justin Bieber to the Anne Frank House last Friday. We think it is very positive that he took the time and effort to visit our museum. … We hope that his visit will inspire his fans to learn more about her life and hopefully read the diary."
But the entertainment community jumped all over Bieber with a flood of Twitter posts. Here are some samples from the Rolling Stone piece:
Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais), April 14, 2013: “I agree with Justin Bieber. Anne Frank would’ve loved his stuff. It’s perfect for being played really really quietly so no one can hear it.”
Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks), April 15, 2013: “Justin Bieber said he hoped Anne Frank would have been a fan. I really want to kill myself.”
Rainn Wilson (@rainnwilson), April 14, 2013: "’Who’s this Anne Frank & why is he visiting her HOUSE? Are they dating?! OMG!’ -93% of beliebers”
Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling), April 15, 2013: “I’m out of the country & the news seems lame guys. Accidental Racist? Bieber’s Anne Frank thing? Kobe’s Achilles heel is compelling I guess”
Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane), April 15, 2013: “I think President John Tyler would’ve been a Belieber.”