Joshua Bassett, 22, didn’t appreciate the hate for his ex-girlfriend Olivia Rodrigo, 20, that came from the audience at one of his recent concerts. Joshua was performing his song “Set Me Free” in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, March 12, when a fan suddenly yelled out from the crowd, “F*** Olivia.” Joshua immediately looked out in the audience, side-eyeing the person who made the rude comment, without missing a beat in the song. He shook his head and rolled his eyes, before diverting his attention back to the piano to continue his performance.
Joshua Bassett shuts down fan who screamed “fuck Olivia [Rodrigo]” at his recent show. pic.twitter.com/AMtSXFqO66
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 13, 2023
The incident was captured on TikTok, where fans praised Joshua for subtly defending his ex-girlfriend in such a public setting. “Respect to this man,” one fan said about Joshua. Another fan said, “he’s so wholesome & good I love him.” Joshua’s fans also pointed out that the heckling about Olivia was especially disrespectful since “Set Me Free” is about his trauma from childhood sexual abuse.
Joshua and Olivia, who starred together on Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, allegedly were in involved in a love triangle with Sabrina Carpenter, 23, which inspired Olivia’s hit song “Driver’s License.” Later on, Joshua and Sabrina fueled the fire by releasing songs with heartbreaking lyrics that seemed to be about drama between the trio. Joshua and Olivia never confirmed the romance and breakup but they haven’t denied it, either.
In a GQ interview published June 2021, Joshua came out as a member of the LGBTQ community, and also addressed the supposed love triangle. He revealed that “the hardest thing” has been “biting my tongue, in a lot of ways, but the reality is it’s kind of like a lost cause trying to talk about any of that stuff, and I refuse to feed into any of the bullshit, so I just don’t.” Joshua added, “[Everyone] is asking me about Sabrina and Olivia. Why don’t we focus on these women for who they are? Let’s focus on the art that they’re making and how great they are instead of their relationship to a boy.”