Ex-Pantera singer apologises after being accused of racism
Phil Anselmo has offered to leave his band Down following an incident in which he was filmed carrying out a Nazi salute and shouting “White power”.
Better known for his time as frontman in Pantera, Anselmo was forced to apologise after being caught on film making the salute at the end of his performance at Dimebash 2016, a festival held in Hollywood in tribute to his late bandmate Dimebag Darrell (pictured below).
Anselmo initially dismissed his actions as a “joke”.
Now Anselmo has issued a statement via his official website offering to walk away from the group.
“Every citizen in this entire world has the unalienable right to live with dignity and respect without hate or oppression. And I mean this, with all of my crushed, yet, guilty heart,” his statement begins.
“It’s common knowledge that we can choose to either learn from our mistakes, or continue on a path of insensitivity and destruction. I am utterly responsible for the mistakes I have made, and can only give you my word to no longer do them in the present, through action, not just mere words.”
“My band mates are now experiencing the consequences of my behaviour, and I now publicly apologise to them as well. Never in my entire lifetime would I drag them down with me, and I’ve privately suggested to them that they move on without me.”
Anselmo also described himself as “repulsed by my own actions”, saying that he “understand[s] if I’m shunned till I hit the dirt”.
Down were due to perform at Dutch festival FortaRock in June. However, in the wake of this week’s controversy, organisers decided to axe the band to their event.
In the days following the incident, Anselmo had been accused of racism by peers including Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn and Scott Ian of Anthrax.
Watch footage of the incident below.