A survivor from last year’s Bataclan terror attack has criticised recent comments from Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes.
Hughes’ band headlined the gig where the attacks took place in Paris in November last year. During the gig at the Bataclan theatre, 89 people – including venue staff, band personnel and fans – were shot and killed by terrorist gunmen.
Hughes has since made several controversial comments in subsequent interviews. In one interview, he blamed France’s strict gun laws for allowing the shooters to go unchallenged, and then later accused some of the security guards at the famous French music venue of being in cahoots with terrorist groups.
Earlier this month, Hughes spoke to Taki Magazine in which he repeated his criticism and claimed that people were too afraid too speak out about terrorism in fear of seeming racist.
In response, Tony Scott – who attended the Bataclan gig – has written a piece for Louder Than War.
“Like Trump, Hughes words are divisive and he’s using the media to garner publicity for his outspoken views,” Scott writes. “It’s hard to see who his views are directed at given the channels he’s using for his outbursts. The latest is an American self proclaimed right wing magazine. Perhaps he believes he is supporting Trumps campaign by doing so? Whatever his intentions, political or otherwise his comments are upsetting the online community that came together to show support to him and each other.”
“It’s easy to see why his comments are causing so much hurt. Unlike a politician, his fans have invested time and emotion into a band whose music they buy and gigs they attend. There is a rapport between a band and its fans, some of which are dedicated followers. They already feel like they know him. This rapport is strengthened still as Hughes is a fellow survivor and the compassion extended in the community of survivors is also extended to him. Comments in the media like his are a stomach punch to those fans, especially when they are still dealing with their own trauma. He is alienating the very people who helped him get where he is. At his return gig at L’Olympia he expressed his love for the people of Paris yet his words bite into still raw wounds and he doesn’t appear to see the hurt they cause.”
Scott also wrote of the sympathy he has for Hughes. He alludes that the frontman may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder: “It is clear that Jesse Hughes has issues that he needs to deal with and I hope that he gets the support he needs and, following these cancellations, takes time out to address his feelings and the impact it has on his fans, the other survivors and families of those that lost their lives in the Paris attacks.”
Meanwhile, two French music festivals have dropped Eagles of Death Metal from their line-ups following Jesse Hughes’ comments.
Caberet Vert and Rock en Seine have decided to cancel the band’s planned appearances. In a post on Facebook, they wrote: “Being in total disagreement with Jesse Hughes’ recent allegations given in an interviww with an american media, both Cabaret Vert & Rock en Seine festivals have decided to cancel the band’s performance. We thank you for your understanding.”