Rihanna is no an ill-mannered theater-goer — she’s just an exceptionally supportive one.
The “Needed Me” singer caught flak last week after she was spotted texting during a performance of Slave Play. At the time, the show’s playwright Jeremy O. Harris defended her actions, saying she was texting him and that he was thrilled.
Now, Harris has revealed the hilarious messages he received from the star, whose music features prominently in Slave Play.
“You guys want to know what she texted during the play? ‘Cause I saw white people writing, ‘Why was Rihanna texting during Jeremy’s play?’ … You guys will not drag my queen for being nice to me,” he said during a post-show Q&A on Wednesday, according to Page Six.
He continued, “She texted me at 8:51 p.m. ‘wtffffff?’ And then at 8:57, she said, ‘Oh my god, you’re epic.’ And then I responded, literally crying, ‘How dare you?’ And then at 10:24, she said, ‘Am I looking at an actual d— right now?’”
RELATED VIDEO: Rihanna Declares She’s ‘Really Happy’ as She Steps Out at 5th Annual Diamond Ball
Slave Play, which focuses on sexual relationships between mixed-race couples during the era of slavery, features a scene with full-frontal male nudity.
Harris, 30, could not have been less bothered by the star’s cell phone use, and said he was just happy she seemed to get a kick out of his show.
“I was literally back there in the mezzanine, and there were multiple times I would hear Rihanna – and only Rihanna – laughing,” he said. “And I wept, just knowing that Rihanna thought my play was funny.”
Shortly after witnesses first reported seeing Rihanna on her phone during Slave Play, Harris hopped on Twitter to defend the Grammy winner, whom he referred to as his “idol.”
Two things I learned today about the Type of theatre maker I am:— Jeremy O. Harris (@jeremyoharris) September 15, 2019
When my idol texts that she’s running late. I hold the curtain for her.
When my idol texts me during a play I’ve written, I respond. pic.twitter.com/78081zXnje
“Two things I learned today about the Type of theatre maker I am: When my idol texts that she’s running late. I hold the curtain for her,” O. Harris tweeted. “When my idol texts me during a play I’ve written, I respond.”
When a fan asked why Harris wasn’t “condemning” Rihanna’s behavior, the playwright replied, “I’m not interested in policing anyone’s relationship to watching a play ESPECIALLY someone who isn’t a part of the regular theatergoing crowd.”
I respect Lin’s position, I just don’t share it.— Jeremy O. Harris (@jeremyoharris) September 15, 2019
I’m not interested in policing anyone’s relationship to watching a play ESPECIALLY someone who isn’t a part of the regular theatregoing crowd.
Moreover, as ppl on this site know I’m famously ambivalent abt phone use in theatre.
He continued, “Moreover, as ppl on this site know I’m famously ambivalent abt phone use in theatre.”
Harris also received criticism for delaying the beginning of the production for the singer. He said that he had to for Rihanna, since she is “the patron saint” of Slave Play.
“To dead this weird discourse that has popped up…The patron saint of the play I wrote is literally a pop star, fashion icon, and Demi-goddess named Rihanna. Her words are all over it. She’s a 9th character in the play,” he tweeted. “When Dionysus is coming you hold the curtain.”
Slave Play is now in previews on Broadway.