The global internet audience isn’t going to get ’80s child star Corey Feldman down.
After being widely ridiculed for a music performance on the Today show last week, Feldman didn’t fall into his old habits by seeking solace from drugs or alcohol. He didn’t speak with a therapist. The former child star got down on his knees and prayed to God.
“At the end of the day, all I ask is that I’m not making a fool of myself,” said Feldman, who’s been sober for over 25 years.
The actor, along with his late friend Corey Haim, battled addiction in the past.
“If it wasn’t God’s will for me to continue performing, then I would just stop, but I think the fact that we did turn on so many new fans and gained supporters is amazing.”
The online negativity has been silenced by growing supportiveness after Feldman was mocked for the performance of his song Go 4 It. A hooded Feldman executed dance moves inspired by pop legend Michael Jackson while accompanied by a band comprised of women wearing halos and wings (with the not-so-flattering title of “Corey’s Angels”). Several celebrities have come to Feldman’s defense, including Pink, Kesha and Miley Cyrus.
The Goonies and Stand By Me actor is self-aware about his viral experience, calling his performance “obviously a bit tongue-in-cheek” in a Thursday interview with The Associated Press.
“I mean, come on, we’ve got girls with angel wings and halos. It’s not the most serious music that’s ever been created, but it is still art.”
Now, Feldman is plotting how to capitalize on his newfound attention. First, he’s returning to the Today show in the coming weeks for another performance.
“I don’t want to rush it,” said Feldman. “I want it to be better than the last one. I want to make sure each performance is better and that people see it that way. This is not a game to me. It’s not a joke.”
That was clear in an emotional, tear-filled video that he streamed on Facebook Live over the weekend. (He later deleted it.) Feldman defended the performance and noted that he’s “never had such mean things said about me.”
Feldman believes both social media users and members of the media should take responsibility for spreading negativity.
“I’m not interested in banning freedom of speech,” he said. “It’s a matter of how you enforce opinions. I think there should be a way to screen out or be sheltered from the hateful comments. If it’s a criticism or opinion, that’s fine, but when it comes to personal issues, I just think everything can’t be fair game.”
Feldman is now laughing all the way to the bank. In the week since the Today performance, he said album sales “have shot through the roof on all platforms.” He’s looking to launch a world tour in support of his fifth album, Angelic 2 The Core.
“We want to be able to do everything I have in mind, as far as the creative elements go,” said Feldman. “If we’re performing in smaller venues, we won’t be able to have back-up dancers, projections, lasers and that kind of thing.”
There’s one place Feldman is not interested in taking his act: behind the coach’s chairs on The Voice. He said he wouldn’t entertain an offer to perform on the CTV singing competition.
“At the end of the day, I’m not the kind of person who likes to put myself up for public ridicule,” said Feldman. “Obviously, I don’t handle it very well, so I don’t think I would be good in that forum.”
You can watch Feldman’s Today show performance here.
With files from The Associated Press