Shawn Mendes will be needing “Stitches” after being slammed by fans over his choice of artwork for his new single.
The Canadian singer released a new song Friday called “What the Hell Are We Dying For?” — and for the cover art, he used a photo of the eerie orange Manhattan skyline that was barely visible due to the raging Canadian wildfires.
Mendes, 24, has been on a break from music ever since canceling his Wonder Tour in July 2022 to focus on his mental health, so fans were excited to get a new song.
The “Mercy” singer has long been vocal about the dangers of climate change, but many fans also questioned Mendes’ decision to use the devastating results of wildfires to promote the song.
“Shawn Mendes turning the fire smoke pollution into single cover art is sending me into orbit,” one person wrote.
“Not Shawn Mendes using a photo of the NYC fire to promote his new song,” another said.
“Shawn Mendes did not just slap some words on a picture of Smokey a-s NYC and used it as cover art,” someone tweeted.
“Not Shawn using the air quality in new york as promo for a new song,” a fan commented.
People also made their thoughts known in the comments of his Instagram post announcing the single.
“Canada burning was just Shawn Mendes promo?” one questioned.
“Bro saw an opportunity and took it,” another wrote.
“Ppl are dying in wildfires n getting sick by the poor air quality n u rlly decided to make it ur aesthetic?” a disappointed fan commented.
“Did bro actually commercialize New York’s climate lmao,” one person said.
“Why are you trying to profit off a natural disaster,” someone asked.
Some fans speculated that the song was actually about his relationship status with Camila Cabello, 26, rather than actually about the wildfires because of some of the lyrics.
“Smoke in the air/ the city’s burning down/ I want to speak/ but I don’t make a sound,” Mendes sings in the song. “Locked in my mind, you’re all I think about/ I want to save us, but I don’t know how.”
“If we don’t love like we used to, if we don’t care like we used to, what the hell are we dying for?” he sings in the chorus. “If it doesn’t cut like it used to, if you’re not mine and I’m not yours, what the hell are we dying for?”
One person tweeted about the possibility of the song being about the relationship, writing, “he’s so unserious for framing this like a climate change call to action song and it’s literally just about Camila Cabello.”
“I do also confuse climate change with Camila Cabello! they just sound so similar so I see where he got confused,” another quipped.
“Did Shawn Mendes just use the Canada wildfires to drop a breakup song ab Camila Cabello,” someone wrote.
Moments after the song dropped at midnight EST, Mendes posted to Instagram explaining that he wrote the song just the day before.
“Started writing this song yesterday morning with my friends in upstate New York & finished it only a few hours ago..felt important to me to share with you guys in real-time,” he wrote in the caption.