Olivia Rodrigo at the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
(Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Critics Twist Olivia Rodrigo’s Act of Gratitude Into Religious Blasphemy

Pop star Olivia Rodrigo has been embroiled in controversy over a fan-made shirt she wore during a recent concert.

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Rodrigo began her career on Disney Channel, acting in shows like Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. By 2020, she had turned her acting career into a music career, signing with Geffen Records. Her first single, “drivers license,” gained critical acclaim and set her on the path to become one of the most popular new artists in the music industry. Rodrigo has since released two studio albums and won three Grammy Awards.

However, her recent shirt controversy isn’t the only time she has received criticism. The singer has been very vocal about her support of women’s reproductive rights, dedicating a performance of “F*** You” to the U.S. Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, and distributing condoms and Plan B at a concert in Missouri, which has banned abortion. As a result, some conservatives have labeled her “controversial.” Now, a recent performance has also stirred criticism from some of her religious fans.

Why Olivia Rodrigo’s shirt is stirring controversy

Rodrigo was performing in Barcelona, Spain when she received a gift from a fan. While on stage, she was handed a custom-made T-shirt with her face in place of the face of Jesus. The Jesus/Rodrigo figure was encased in a heart underneath the word “Barcelona.” Rodrigo promptly put on the shirt onstage, thanked the fan, and then launched into a performance of her song “favorite crime.”

For many, it seemed like a sweet gesture to react excitedly to a fan-made gift. However, some began to criticize the singer because of the religious element of the shirt. Individuals claimed the shirt was offensive, blasphemous, and sacrilegious. They took the shirt to be “mocking” Jesus or equating Rodrigo with Jesus. Some even claimed they were no longer fans or supporters of the singer and made videos of themselves unfollowing her and removing her songs from their playlists.


I hope they all find their way back. Money, fame, and fortune is not worth eternity without God #jesusisking #God #discernment

♬ original sound – Funny Sound Effects

The majority of social media users actually defended Rodrigo, though. A few Christians even weighed in on the issue, acknowledging that blasphemy is not acceptable and that the music industry does sometimes mock religion, but that this wasn’t one of those instances. For one, many believe that Rodrigo probably didn’t even notice she was supposed to be Jesus on the shirt as, at first glance, it just looks like her underneath a Barcelona caption.

Secondly, she did it to express her gratitude to a fan and not to be blasphemous. Some also addressed the fundamental question of whether the shirt even constitutes blasphemy in any circumstance. Many just accepted it as a funny shirt, similar to when Sabrina Carpenter wore a shirt that said, “Jesus was a Carpenter.”


The air quality is already bad we dont need the fumes from Olivias merch rn?#oliviarodrigo#guts#blasphemy#fyp

♬ original sound – Bri

tryna to word this under 60 is deff a challenge but the Word is enough. God will judge those on the outside. Does the music know what they are doing and mocking God? Probably yes. I’d personally say Sabrina Carpenter shirt was more intentional than Olivia Rodrigo Jesus Shirt from a (FAN) I’ve never heard or even by their fruit seen them be followers of Christ or say Jesus is their savior. I don’t listen to them. I have my standard to follow because I LOVE the LORD not because its a *moral standard*. One I pray they will love JESUS the same. So to my brothers & sisters in Christ— call out and pray agaisnt the principalities and evil of this world NOT people. If you’re cancelling the music stars and blocking them but not praying for them your public calling out is not Godly. #oliviarodrigo #jesus #christianity #jesuslovesyou #bibleverses

♬ original sound – Valentina

Again, disrespecting someone’s religion isn’t acceptable, and it’s perfectly fine if many of Rodrigo’s fans wouldn’t personally wear that shirt. However, there’s no evidence that Rodrigo was intentionally trying to mock or disrespect religion or Jesus, and it’s unfair to accuse her of doing so just because of a small act of gratitude she offered a fan.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.