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Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox engages heckler accusing him of cultural appropriation (video)

Deerhunter at Ships of the Sea
Deerhunter at Savannah Stopover 2019 (more by Stephanie Augello)

An incident went down at the Deerhunter show with Dirty Projectors at Seattle’s Showbox on Saturday (7/20) that has become a national conversation after an attendee of the show, Daniela B, tipped off Stereogum to a video she posted of the incident, in which Bradford is accused of cultural appropriation by an audience member.

Apparently, as a commenter who was also at the show pointed out, Bradford had been bringing up Twin Peaks throughout the show, “crediting the show for opening his eyes to what surrealism could look like.” Though it is unclear from the video if Bradford was ever serious about staying there (though that it also besides the main point), Daniela told Stereogum that Bradford said he “was planning on staying in North Bend at the Salish Lodge that night so that he could explore Snoqualmie the next day.” This was “about the 3rd” time Bradford brought up Twin Peaks, according to the aforementioned commenter, and it’s when the audience member yelled “fuck you” from the crowd.

Bradford invited her to the front of the stage and handed her the mic, at which point she said, “You’re appropriating Snoqualmie culture.” Bradford replied, “Is there something about North Bend that I should know?” “Yes you should,” she said. “I’d like to hear it,” he replied. “No,” she said, to which the crowd booed. “Why should I, as a person of color, have to tell you about it?” Bradford replied, “So that I can become educated and so that I can empathize and relate to your point and prove my intellect. That’s how ideas are traded.”

Bradford continued, “Ideas are traded between cultures through communication, not by insulting and yelling ‘fuck you’ at people. I have no interest in appropriating anybody’s culture. I have been marginalized my entire fucking life.”

“Marginalized by who?” she asked. “Marginalized by heteronormative culture, marginalized by socioeconomic situations, marginalized by being differently abled,” he replied, and then continued: “What is your assumption about my life that makes you think that I am somehow privileged or I represent someone appropriating your culture? Because I absolutely believe that you have a very good point that you’re not going to share with me out of arrogance. You wanted to walk to the front of the stage and yell ‘fuck you’ at me, which I think is great, to say ‘fuck you’ to me. And why?”

Later on, the heckler began saying, “And you obviously, as a white, male…” to which Bradford interrupted, “Did you just call me male? I don’t even know that you can assume my gender.”

As they continue, Bradford says that he will do the research on the Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest, at which point the audience member appears to say Bradford is humiliating her, and he says, “Can’t win.”

You can watch the full video of their exchange below…

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