Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters is in hot water with the Biden administration after his concert sparked an inquiry by German police.
The U.S. State Department weighed in on Waters’ controversial performance in Berlin, which has caused the city’s police to open an investigation into the 79-year-old British rocker for “incitement of the people.”
During his May 17 concert at Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, Waters dressed in a long black trench coat and red arm bands that were reminiscent of Nazi officer uniforms worn during WWII.
According to Reuters, Waters “outfit included a swastika-like emblem made of two crossed hammers,” despite Nazi symbols and uniforms being outlawed in the country.
— Roger Waters ✊ (@rogerwaters) June 7, 2023
He further inflamed concertgoers with the act by pointing a fake machine gun at the audience during the performance.
The State Department slammed Waters on Tuesday for his “long track record” of denigrating Jewish people and downplaying the Holocaust.
The comments were given as a written response during Tuesday’s press briefing, when the department was asked if they agreed with Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt’s, the special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, condemnation of Rodgers.
On May 24, EU antisemitism envoy Katharina von Schnurbein took aim at the former Pink Floyd frontman and Lipstadt concurred with her remarks.
“I am sick & disgusted by Roger Waters’ obsession to belittle and trivialize the Shoah & the sarcastic way in which he delights in trampling on the victims, systematically murdered by the Nazis,” von Schnurbein tweeted.
“In Germany. Enough is enough. Holocaust trivialization is criminalized across the EU.”
— Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt (@StateSEAS) May 25, 2023
The same day, Lipstadt replied, “I wholeheartedly concur with @EUAntisemitism’s condemnation of Roger Waters and his despicable Holocaust distortion.”
“Special Envoy Lipstadt’s quote-tweet speaks for itself,” the State Department said on Tuesday.
“The concert in question, which took place in Berlin, contained imagery that is deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust,” the statement continued.
“The artist in question has a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people.”
Rodgers clapped back at the accusations in a social media statement of his own on May 26, saying that they are “bad faith attacks from those who want to smear and silence me because they disagree with my political views.
He pointed out that the depiction of “an unhinged fascist demagogue” has played a role in his performances since Pink Floyd’s chart topping 1979 album “The Wall.”
“The elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice and bigotry in all its forms,” he defended.
“Attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated.”
He also detailed that both of his parents fought the Nazi’s during WWII, noting that his father paid “the ultimate price” when he was killed in February 1944 during the Battle of Aprilia in Italy.
— Double Down News (@DoubleDownNews) June 7, 2023
“I have spent my entire life speaking out against authoritarianism and oppression wherever I see it,” the statement concluded.
“Regardless of the consequences of the attacks against me, I will continue to condemn injustice to all those who perpetrate it.”
On Tuesday night, Waters told the crowd at London’s O2 arena that “the Israeli lobby” is “trying to cancel” him.
Waters is a supporter of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which has taken aim at Israel for occupying territories where Palestinians seek statehood.
“We’ve done 80 shows, and we’ve done nothing but share our love for people. That’s why I’m so pissed off with this Israeli lobby b*******,” he added.
“Making up stuff because you’ve been told to by your masters from the Foreign Office in Tel Aviv.”