Hate Speech In The Music Industry: Die Antwoord’s Disturbing Viral Video

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In all creative spaces; whether they be focused on art, music, theatre and more – there is and always has been ingrained elements of discrimination and unfair treatment of those participating – whether judged on their gender, sexual orientation or race, it’s unfortunate that this kind of behaviour is still so prevalent in today’s modern society. As time has moved along, we’re starting to see a shift, however, not only in growing safe spaces for all musicians and equal lineups: and  importantly, people finally being held accountable for their discriminatory behaviour. 

Although tackling such huge societal issues is a daunting task, it’s important the music world react accordingly when those affiliated with various clubs, events and labels show their true colours; colours that are certainly not all that appealing. 

It’s much more likely that now in 2019, musicians will be held accountable for any bigoted behaviour they may exhibit, whether recent or in the past. Just recently, a video of South-African rap group, Die Antwoord, has surfaced in which the members are seen acting in such a way that is truly unforgivable. Although the group has been in the spotlight for various controversial issues in the past, and the backlash they had previously received, the group has continued making music, playing shows and touring without regard for their personal actions. 

With a new candid video coming to light, shared by the rap duo’s former videographer Ben Crossman: both members can be seen participating in a disturbing altercation. Filmed at the 2012 Future Music Festival in Australia, Ninja (Watkin Tudor Jones) approaches Andy Butler, of Hercules & Love Affair. After a heated confrontation, the duo chase after Butler with Yolandi Visser exclaiming homophobic slurs as he runs away:

Run f*ggot, run. Run for your life bitch.

Luckily as this video has surfaced, two festivals in which the duo were set play have dropped them from the lineup. Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas, as well as Louder Than Life Festival in Kentucky have both removed the duo from their lineups. Louder Than Life shared the removal was due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ and has not yet confirmed this as the reason for removal, but considering how the video has gone viral it definitely would not be in anyone’s best interest to defend them on a festival lineup. 

It’s important that these types of actions are taken towards people who have exhibited this type of behaviour; not only so event and festival goers feel safe in their surroundings, but holding these musicians accountable makes a statement to the public and other artists that this type of behaviour is not okay and will not be tolerated. It shows support and solidarity with those who are directly affected by such bigoted behaviour, and overall allows for the music community to be just that – a community, an inclusive space for all.

Watch the video here.