Topless protester interrupts Avril Lavigne at 2023 Juno Awards, singer responds with expletive-laced command.

Jonny Hector

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Avril Lavigne made headlines for shutting down a topless protester who crashed the stage at the 52nd Juno Awards in Edmonton. The Canadian pop-punk singer was presenting when a topless woman jumped on stage with phrases ‘Save the Greenbelt’ and ‘Land Back’ scrawled on her body, apparently attempting to draw attention to Ontario’s plans to develop portions of the greenbelt.

Quickly telling the protester to leave the stage, Lavigne said: “Get the f**k off, get the f**k off, b**tch.” Later in the evening, as she accepted the TikTok Juno fan choice award, she referenced the incident, warning against any more stunts. “The Canadian’s going to come out of me and I’m going to f**k a b**ch up,” she joked.

Actor Simu Liu, who was hosting the Junos for a second time, praised Lavigne for her handling of the situation. “Give her an award for handling the topless lady like a champion,” Liu said. Earlier in the show, Liu paid tribute to Lavigne by performing a medley of her hits.

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The incident drew mixed reactions on social media, with some applauding Lavigne’s response while others criticized her use of profanity. Nonetheless, the incident has put the issue of greenbelt development in the spotlight. The Region of Peel recently unveiled a plan that would see a portion of the greenbelt sold for development, sparking outcry from environmental groups.

The greenbelt is a protected area of land in Southern Ontario that serves as a source of drinking water for millions of residents and provides numerous benefits to wildlife and the environment. Its preservation is crucial for the health and well-being of both the human and non-human inhabitants of the province. Hopefully, the incident at the Juno Awards will draw attention to this urgent issue and spur action to protect this vital resource.

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