Shawn Mendes, the 19-year-old pop star from Canada, has faced gay rumors for years.
Mendes has adamently maintained that he's straight, posting Snapchat videos that blasted those who called him gay.
The rumors amped up again Thursday. This time it was because the official Twitter account for the movie Love, Simon tweeted an ad in the form of a letter signed "Love, Simon." The tweet, now deleted, read, "Dear Shawn, There's nothing holding me back. Love, Simon." The account, which has been tweeting at numerous celebrities, was referencing a song by Mendes ("There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back").
Some Twitter users were amused, joking that it "outed" Mendes, while others took offense at the tweet, saying it was harmful and offensive.
\u201cOne of the things that has defined Shawn Mendes\u2019 career is the massive onslaught of people gleefully vying to drag him out of a perceived \u2018glass closet\u2019; the Love, Simon tweet was wildly blinkered and inappropriate, regardless of intention.\u201d
— dylan, but birthday month (@dylan, but birthday month)
After the backlash, the Love, Simon account deleted the tweet, which brought a whole new round of criticism.
Mendes has yet to comment on the social media fiasco.