The Miley Cyrus-Sinead O'Connor feud is just making us sad now

The Miley Cyrus-Sinead O'Connor Feud Continues with Fourth Open Letter
The Miley Cyrus-Sinead O'Connor Feud Continues with Fourth Open LetterJakubaszek/Redferns via Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Clear Channel / Today
By Donna Kaufman

Sinead O'Connor wanted to have a civil conversation with Miley Cyrus; instead, she's getting letters from Miley fans telling her to go kill herself. Sometimes the internet is really depressing. 

The "Nothing Compares 2U" singer has written a fourth open letter to Cyrus, 20, urging her to show some respect for the mentally ill. If you haven't been following the whole story, here's a quick recap: Miley told Rolling Stone that Sinead O'Connor inspired her "Wrecking Ball" video. Sinead responded by writing an open letter to Miley on her blog, urging her to have some self-respect and stop getting naked all the time. Miley responded by re-posting Sinead's suicidal tweets from two years ago, along with a joke about Amanda Bynes. This inspired two angry letters from Sinead (who recently found out she was incorrectly diagnosed as bipolar) demanding that Miley apologize for making light of mental illness. Miley didn't apologize, and instead called Sinead crazy on the Today show. Which brings us to now. 

In her latest letter to Miley, Sinead states that the singer is sending a dangerous message to fans by making fun of mental illness. 

"You’ve said on Matt Lauer’s show (where you again refer to me as 'crazy') that you don’t understand why I have been upset with you. I find that hard to understand frankly, since you’re clearly very far from being a stupid woman," O'Connor writes. "My problem with you stems from your response to my first letter. Until you exposed me (and Amanda Bynes) to abuse on the grounds of my having sought help (extremely coherently) to save my life...I had no problem with you whatsoever."

O'Connor points out that young people, Miley's stated audience, are among the most likely to commit suicide, particularly if they are mentally ill. By making fun of her own cry for help, writes Sinead, Miley is sending a message to her fans that feeling suicidal makes you weak and pathetic.

"Look Miley, what you did to myself and Amanda encouraged enormous abuse of us both, publicly and privately," writes O'Connor. "And will certainly have made it difficult for young people who admire you and who may be suffering with mental health problems or suicidal ideation to feel they can be open and seek help, since you had us mocked for seeking help."

The worst part: O'Connor, a mother of four, says she has now received "numerous" letters from Cyrus fans telling her to kill herself. She says her children are upset. And she says that she's losing work, because her potential employers are now worried that she's unstable.

Is this all Miley's fault? Not entirely; it's just the snowball effect of internet bullying. O'Connor's intentions were good, but she went about it all wrong. Miley is being an immature brat about the whole thing, but she hasn't instructed her fans to send death wishes to Sinead, either. It's all a big, sad mess, and it's really unfortunate that it's now affecting O'Connor's family and ability to make a living.

Meanwhile, other artists have been chiming in. Provocative singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer wrote her own letter in response to the feud, arguing that feminism and nudity can co-exist in the world of pop music. And DJ Robin Skouteris has attempted to bridge the peace in another way: mashing O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2U" with Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." It's actually great—and maybe proof that these singers should put their differences aside. Watch it below:

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.