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Marilyn Manson issues statement after pointing a fake gun at concert audience

Manson at Ozzfest Meets Knotfest
Manson at Ozzfest Meets Knotfest

Marilyn Manson played the Ozzfest Meets Knotfest festival in San Bernardino, CA on Sunday (11/5), his first show since being injured in NYC a few weeks back. Performing in a leg cast boot Manson remained controversial. For one part of the show he was in a wheelchair pointing a fake assault rifle at the crowd. The prop gun, which had a bright orange plastic tip the end, was also rigged with a microphone through which he sang a couple songs. From the San Bernardino Sun:

He was wheeled out in an actual wheelchair by one of the men in scrubs, only this time he was wielding an obviously fake semi automatic shotgun with a bright orange cap on the tip. His microphone was also rigged to the gun and he sang into it as the band launched into “We Know Where You (Expletive) Live” off of his new album, “Heaven Upside Down.” As he delivered the song, he pointed the gun at the audience, letting the drums serve as the rapid fire.

Coming on the eve of a mass shooting at a church in Texas, Manson could have had a bit more tact, but it’s Manson. He has always aimed for the shock value or to be provocative and though some that were in the crowd thought it was “lame,” the stunt didn’t seem to truly bother anyone else, especially with the handful of San Bernardino Sheriffs standing on either side of the stage.

This being the same day as the mass killing in Texas, there was no shortage of online outrage. (Though according to the review above, not so much outrage at the actual show.) Manson has now issued a statement on his performance:

In an era where mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence, this was an act of theater in an attempt to make a statement about how easily accessible semi-automatic weapons are and how seeing them has become normalized. My art has always been a reaction to popular culture and my way to make people think about the horrible things that happen in this world. My performance was not meant to be disrespectful or show any insensitivity. The prop microphone I used on stage was handed to me with the approval of a police officer. My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of REAL guns.

You can watch footage of what happened at the San Bernardino show, below.

This was not the only controversy in Manson’s world — he parted ways with bassist Twiggy Ramirez after rape allegations were made against Ramirez.

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