Green Day perform in front of “Fuck Ted Cruz” banner during their European tour

The band joins a chorus of musicians responding to lawmakers' inaction on gun reform

Green Day have debuted a new banner displayed in the background of their live shows which simply reads: “Fuck Ted Cruz”.

The on-screen message first circulated online in early June after the Berlin concert of the band’s broader European Hella Mega Tour.

Following the performance, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong reposted a fan photo of the Cruz reference captioned with a love heart emoji.

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Since debuting the banner, concert-goers have taken to Twitter to comment on its frank assessment of the Republican Senator, with one user writing that “Green Day knows Ted Cruz is a dick.”

Green Day’s backdrop display arrives amid broader criticism of Cruz and his party in response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. The tragedy resulted in the deaths of 19 children and two teachers, but Cruz – who serves as the state’s junior senator – has continually thwarted attempts to pass stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting.

Green Day joins a slew of artists angered by US lawmakers’ inaction on gun control reform following the events in Uvalde. In May, musicians Olivia Rodrigo, Jack White, Taylor Swift and Madonna were among those who called for stricter measures following the tragedy.

“We need to reduce firearm access to people who are at risk of harming themselves or others,” Madonna wrote on Instagram at the time. “No more words action only.”

It’s not the first time Green Day has weighed in on US politics. During Donald Trump’s presidency, Armstrong was consistently vocal about the former president, comparing him to Hitler in an interview with NME in 2016 and blaming his victory on “uneducated white working-class people”.

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In September 2020, Armstrong publicly backed Joe Biden during the presidential election, warning fans that “democracy is at stake” if Trump was to secure a second term in the White House.

News of Hella Mega’s European and UK tour was first announced in 2019, but its prospective 2021 dates were later pushed back due to COVID-19. In April of last year, the European leg – which also features Fall Out Boy and Weezer – was rescheduled to the current run of June and July dates, with stops in London, Glasgow and Paris, among others.

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