The Enemy’s Tom Clarke quits Twitter following “hobbit” row

Singer posts lengthy statement on subject of bullying

The Enemy‘s Tom Clarke has announced he is quitting Twitter following a row with journalists who compared him to a Hobbit.

Yesterday (September 10), Clarke embarked on a lengthy Twitter rant after a fan sent him a link to a Time Out review of his band, in which they were described as “subtlety-defficient indie gnomes”.

The frontman had called journalists who commented on his appearance as “jealous, juvenile, inept, generally conformist morons” and also stated: “If I had a pound for everytime a journalist called me a hobbit I could buy enough bullets to round them up and disfigure the lot of them.”

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Now, in a longer message posted online, he spoke openly about being hurt by bullying and suffering from depression. “Fortunately most people are protected from being bullied at work because in civilised society we recognise it as wrong,” he wrote. “We know that it can affect different people in different ways. For instance what one person may shrug off as nothing could deeply hurt another persons feelings. A vulnerable group especially susceptible to the affects of bullying are those who suffer from depression or other mental health illnesses.”

Clarke added: “I’ve never spoken about this publicly before but I feel it’s pertinent to add context to this weeks events. Since I was 16 I’ve struggled with depression. In my early twenties I was prescribed medication to try to manage my mental health. At many times during my adulthood I’ve battled with the overwhelming urge to take my own life. As recently as a few years ago I felt in control enough to stop taking anti-depressants daily, which for most people who suffer from depression is both a huge risk, and a huge milestone.”

Speaking about the bullying, which he said was found both in Time Out’s article as well as a later post by music website Noisey and comments made on air by XFM Manchester, he declared: “When people who are supposed to be professionals attack things you didn’t create, that you have no control over, that are part of your body or your physicality in general, it hurts. I don’t care how thick skinned you are, it hurts. When you add depression into the mix too the results can be devastating.

“Some of the so-called professionals who partake in this do so because they don’t think about it and they’re ignorant. The ones at the Vice subsidiary probably knew though, and that’s why they chose to not put their names to the piece.”

He later added: “Just because they’re a journalist and I’m a musician doesn’t make it any different to cyber bullying between teenagers in chat rooms or on social media. The results are just as devastating, the actions just as juvenile and spiteful.” You can read his post in full here.

The Enemy released their third studio album, ‘Streets In The Sky’, in July 2012.

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