Canadian band Viet Cong have gig axed due to ‘offensive’ band name

Promoter of Ohio show cancels due to band name that "deeply offends"

Canadian band Viet Cong have had a gig at a university in Ohio canceled following complaints about their name.

The band were due to perform at Dionysus Disco at Oberlin College on March 14. However the date was axed with the promoter apologising for booking a group whose name “deeply offends and hurts Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American communities, both in Oberlin and beyond.”

In a statement posted on the Dionysus Disco Facebook page, promoter Ivan Krasnov acknowledged “the problematic nature of a band naming themselves ‘Viet Cong'” and apologised to ‘anyone hurt or made uncomfortable by the name and its connotations’.”

Matt Flegel of Viet Cong, who are named after the political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War, has previously distanced the band from offensive connotations surrounding their name stating “It’s just a band name. It’s just what we called ourselves.”

However, in the same statement, promoter Krasnov said this only made things worse in his eyes, “The fact that the band openly acknowledges their problematic name, yet fails to change it or do anything about it, highlights this blatantly appropriative move, reinforcing a tradition of American (and Western) orientalism and appropriation.”

Viet Cong released their debut album via Jagjaguwar in January and return to Britain in the summer, where they are due to play London festival Field Day.