A journalist has apologised after causing controversy by labelling The White Stripes drummer Meg White “terrible”.
Lachlan Markay sparked discourse after posting a now-deleted tweet which read: “The tragedy of The White Stripes is how great they would have been with a half decent drummer.
“Yeah, yeah I’ve heard all the ‘but it’s a carefully crafted sound mannnn!’ takes. I’m sorry Meg White was terrible and no band is better for having shitty percussion.”
Numerous public figures stepped in to defend White, such as The Roots‘ drummer Questlove, who said: “I try to leave ‘troll views’ alone but this right here is out of line af. Actually what is wrong w music is people choking the life out of music like an Instagram filter—trying to reach a high of music perfection that doesn’t even serve the song (or music).”
Karen Elson, Jack White‘s ex-wife, also stepped in to defend Meg White, commenting: “Not only is Meg White a fantastic drummer, Jack [White] also said the White Stripes would be nothing without her. To the journalist who dissed her, keep my ex husband’s ex wife name out of your f*cking mouth. (Please and Thank You)
Now, Markay has responded to the backlash. “By now you’ve probably seen an ill-advised (and since-deleted) tweet I sent out yesterday about the White Stripes and Meg White,” he said on Twitter. “It was an over-the-top take on TWS and White as a drummer, and was, let’s face it, just truly awful in every way. Petty, obnoxious, just plain wrong.”
“I don’t know if Meg White herself saw that tweet. I hope not, because I imagine it wouldn’t feel great to see a stranger dumping on you like that,” he added. “So to Meg White: I am sorry. Really. And to women in the music business generally, who I think are disproportionately subject to this sort of shit, I am sorry to have fed that as well. I’m really going to try to be more thoughtful in the future, both on here and off.”
He continued: “I’ve been thinking to myself as all this—again, completely justified—hate comes in over the last 24 hours: why did I actually write that? It’s not what I really think, and I like to think I’m not the asshole it made me out to be, or at least I try not to be.
By now you’ve probably seen an ill-advised (and since-deleted) tweet I sent out yesterday about the White Stripes and Meg White. It was an over-the-top take on TWS and White as a drummer, and was, let's face it, just truly awful in every way. Petty, obnoxious, just plain wrong.
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) March 14, 2023
“I think the answer, in part, is that sort of vicious sniping is something that we—us online folks—tend to reward with eyes and clicks. And I think I got caught up in that implicit incentive structure with a needlessly inflammatory, downright mean, and most importantly false take.”
The journalist also amended his Twitter bio to include the sentence: “Bad music take haver.”
Meg White has often been criticised for her simple drumming style. In 2002, White said of the criticism: “I appreciate other kinds of drummers who play differently, but it’s not my style or what works for this band. I get [criticism] sometimes, and I go through periods where it really bothers me. But then I think about it, and I realise that this is what is really needed for this band.”
The White Stripes disbanded in 2011 and Meg White has largely kept out of the music industry since, describing herself as “very shy”.