update deskArts & Entertainment

BMG dumps anti-Israel musician Roger Waters

The former Pink Floyd frontman justified the Hamas massacre of Oct. 7 and said that "Israel made up stories about beheading babies."

Musician Roger Waters during his show at Engenhão Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2006. Credit: A.PAES/Shutterstock.
Musician Roger Waters during his show at Engenhão Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2006. Credit: A.PAES/Shutterstock.

Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, an antisemite and a harsh critic of Israel, has been dropped as a client by Berlin-based music company BMG, Variety reported on Tuesday.

Sources told the entertainment trade magazine that the music publisher and record label decided to completely separate from the artist, who has made inflammatory remarks about Israel, Ukraine and the United States.

Waters and BMG signed a publishing agreement in 2016 and were scheduled to release a newly recorded version of the classic 1973 Pink Floyd album “Dark Side of the Moon.” However, CEO Thomas Coesfeld canceled the deal.

BMG declined to comment for the article.

The aging English rocker has posted anti-Israel videos to his X account many times since the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre of 1,200 people in the northwestern Negev, including a rant on Jan. 21 in which he distorts the historical record, calling the Jewish founders of Israel in 1948 “terrorist Zionist gangs” who forcibly drove the Palestinians from their homes, committing “murder, execution, rape.”

Two hotels in Buenos Aires canceled the reservations of Waters and his band in November over his anti-Israel comments related to Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack.

Waters, who was in South America as part of a global tour, blamed the “Israel lobby” for the cancellations.

On the Nov. 1 episode of journalist Glenn Greenwald’s Rumble podcast, “System Update,” Waters suggested that the Hamas attack was an Israeli “false flag operation” and that there was “something fishy” about the Israelis not knowing an attack was being planned.

The 80-year-old musician, who described himself as “an opponent of the whole Zionist exercise” also said Hamas was “absolutely legally and morally bound to resist.”

He said the attack was “thrown out of all proportion by the Israelis making up stories about beheading babies.” Photographs and forensic experts confirmed that babies were beheaded during the Oct. 7 attack.

Waters has a long history of making anti-Israel and antisemitic statements. He faced widespread criticism for Holocaust and anti-Israel imagery at his concerts in June of last year. 

At Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on May 17, 2023, he dressed up in a costume resembling that of an SS officer and pretended to fire a rifle. Waters also compared the murder of Anne Frank in the Holocaust to the accidental killing in Jenin in May 2022 of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

The U.K.’s Labour and Conservative parties condemned the show, as did the U.S. State Department.

In a 2010 email to his crew, Waters described his idea for an inflatable pig to be floated above his gigs, which would have the words “dirty kyke,” “follow the money” and “Scum” written on it.

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