update deskSchools & Higher Education

Banned rocker Waters gives Zoom speech at ‘Palestine Writes’ fest

A documentary released this week features new interviews alleging bigoted statements against Jews from the former Pink Floyd frontman.

Roger Waters wears a Nazi-style uniform during a concert in Berlin on May 17, 2023. Source: Twitter.
Roger Waters wears a Nazi-style uniform during a concert in Berlin on May 17, 2023. Source: Twitter.

Controversial musician Roger Waters wound up speaking as part of the “Palestine Writes” literary festival via Zoom after he was banned from the University of Pennsylvania.

Waters released an Instagram video of him being driven to the campus, where he was no longer allowed to speak. In it, he is shown holding the student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, and complaining about an article describing him as an antisemite.

Others who have known Waters longer and more deeply are making the same charge—that the co-founder of the English rock band Pink Floyd hates Jews. A new 37-minute documentary, “The Dark Side of Roger Waters,” released by the Campaign Against Antisemitism includes interviews with former collaborators who told numerous stories of antisemitic statements uttered by Waters.

The film also reveals email showing Waters suggested writing “dirty k***” on the infamous flying pig featured at his concerts; instead, he incorporated a Star of David. Waters also wanted to drop confetti on audiences that featured swastikas, Stars of David and dollar signs.

“Roger Waters has repeatedly used his enormous platform to bait Jews, but he always claims that he is not antisemitic,” said Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism. “We believed that there was further evidence out there to the contrary, and the release of ‘The Dark Side of Roger Waters’ now puts the evidence we obtained in the hands of the public.”

In June, the U.S. State Department labeled a recent Waters performance as antisemitic for its use of Nazi imagery and Holocaust references. In July, 14 prominent Jewish organizations came together to urge Waters’s record label, owned by the German media giant Bertelsmann, to drop the musician.

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