George loses patience with fans
LONDON, England -- George Michael has shut down his Web site chatroom because -- in his words -- fans have been "slagging him off."
And his decision has not gone down well with some supporters who have urged him to change his mind.
The pop superstar writes on his official site that he is upset to see the forums "packed full of negative comment."
Some posters had accused him of looking old and overweight and of not doing enough to promote his new album, "Patience."
Others had complained about the quality of his recent recordings.
In a message posted on the Web site, Michael says: "Hi everybody, this is George.
"I'm afraid that, having visited the forums on a regular basis over the past few months, simply to see how you guys thought the album/interviews/promotion were going, I have decided to close them down.
"As many of you will know, much of my reasoning for the future is to stay away from the negativity of the media, I think that it is bad for me and for music in general, so I find it really sad to see the forums so packed full of negative comment, and that so many genuinely positive fans find themselves defending me (or themselves) constantly against attack. How pointless.
"There are plenty of places to read people slagging each other off, but I wasn't trying to create one in opening the forum. Those of you that want to carry on the media's work will have to do it somewhere else I suppose."
He adds: "Things will stay the same for the next two weeks, so that those of you who have made friendships can decide which other sites to meet at, and then the rooms will close.
"I feel bad for those of you who have always been supportive, but I'm afraid I want nothing to do with the bitching that has evolved between some members, (many members), and perhaps unofficial sites will be a calmer affair.
"Sorry guys, but that's the way it goes... Peace and Love... or nothing at all.
"Love as always. George xx"
One disappointed fan brands the star's decision "ludicrous."
"It's a fans' forum, it's freedom of speech and I don't think it's down to George to take his ball home and say 'I'm not playing any more,'" the fan writes.
"The fact of the matter is that people have opinions and they are entitled to them, that's what a forum is for.
"This just generates more negative press for George and I have to say its a bad move."
Another brands Michael a "control freak" and said: "It smacks of someone unhappy we're not all heaping praise on him at every turn and that's sad. The people who read and contribute to these boards are fans."
And another called Michael's decision an "insult", saying: "He may lose some fans over this. Something he really cannot afford to do."
The majority of messages are supportive of the star -- but beg him to reconsider.
But "GeorgeWham" writes: "All I've seen over the last couple of years are insults upon insults, if I were an artist and my fans had been saying the same things, I think I'd do exactly the same, to shut you all up."