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Olivia Rodrigo’s Jesus Shirt Controversy, Explained

ICYMI, Olivia Rodrigo has recently been in the face of scrutiny following her June 18 GUTS World Tour performance in Barcelona. 

At the show, a fan from the audience gave Rodrigo a fan-made shirt that read “Barcelona” in block letters and featured a picture of her face edited onto Jesus’ body. Rodrigo put the shirt on and sang “favorite crime” from her album Sour.

Following the performance, many took to the internet to voice their opinions over Rodrigo’s actions, causing a major divide among fans. Those with strong religious beliefs found Rodrigo’s move offensive. They have expressed that because of the singer’s actions, they’re no longer supporting her, while others feel as though the controversy has been taken out of context.

Some fans feel as though Rodrigo wearing the shirt was blatant religious disrespect. One user on TikTok posted a video, writing, “Me unadding ALL of Olivia Rodrigo’s songs from my playlist after she put that shirt on.” She then captioned the TikTok, “Blasphemy at its finest NO MA’AM.” 

Many people in the comment section of that video are divided, some mocking the context, and others showing their support for the creator’s opinions. One user commented in support of the user, writing, “Not Christian, but even ik that’s wrong,” while another person wrote, “oh no! what is she going to do without you?” 

Other fans feel as though this controversy has been blown out of proportion.

One TikTok user said in a video, “I feel like some of y’all just sit around and wait for certain people that you don’t like to do something controversial so that you can get other people to hop on the hate train too.” 


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

♬ original sound – Bri

She referred to many people’s reactions where they stated they would “burn her merch” and “remove her songs” from playlists because Rodrigo was “mocking Jesus.” The creator shared that Rodrigo probably put the shirt on so quickly, that she failed to realize it featured a photo of her face edited on top of Jesus’ body.

Some have even referenced the time Sabrina Carpenter wore a shirt saying “Jesus Was a Carpenter” and was praised, while Rodrigo is being canceled for wearing a shirt of the same sentiment.

This idea relates to the belief that Rodrigo’s hate is fueled by many who already dislike her. One took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to voice this. “Sabrina “Jesus is a Carpenter” = slay, ate. *Olivia wore a fan edited shirt* = canceling her,” they wrote.

Suffice to say, that after this performance, many are either burning Olivia Rodrigo’s merch or defending her profusely.

Amanda is a sophomore Writing and Rhetoric major with a Creative Writing minor at James Madison University. Amanda is the current Entertainment & Culture Summer Intern at Her Campus Media, writing about all things pop culture! Amanda loves binge-watching reality TV, drinking iced lattes, cuddling cats, reading romance and thriller novels, and listening to music (Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, Gracie Abrams, and Olivia Rodrigo mostly). Ultimately, Amanda wishes to pursue a career involving writing, reading, editing, or publishing.