Roger Waters may take legal action against a request to cancel upcoming performances in Germany – something he says is “unjustified” and an attempt to “silence” him.
The news follows an announcement last month in which the German government decided to scrap one of the songwriter’s upcoming shows following allegations of anti-Semitism. The application by the Hessian state government resulted in Waters’ concert in Frankfurt (May 28) being canceled and a similar application being filed against his performance in Munich (May 21).
Now, after the canceled tour date, the former Pink Floyd bassist has threatened legal action against the decision, calling it “unjustifiable” and a violation of his freedom of expression.
“Mr. Waters has directed his attorneys to immediately take all steps necessary to reverse this unjustified decision,” Waters’ management company, Mark Fenwick Management, said in a statement.
“[This is] to ensure that his basic human right to freedom of expression is protected and that anyone who wishes to see him perform can do so in Frankfurt, Munich or any other city in any other country.”
Roger Waters. Credit: Justin Berl/Getty Images
They added, “These actions are unconstitutional without justification and are based on the false accusation that Roger Waters is an anti-Semite, which he is not,” they continued, adding that this attempt to “silence” him may be too “serious, far-reaching consequences”.
Justifying its decision to intervene in Waters’ performance at the city’s Festhalle, the Frankfurt city council stressed that the musician had previously pressured artists not to perform in Israel and had used anti-Semitic imagery – including a balloon in the shape of a pig with Embossing of the Star of David and various company logos (via The Generalist).
Additionally, former bandmate David Gilmour and his wife Polly Samson took to social media last month to share their thoughts on the musician. Here Samson described the musician as “anti-Semitic too [his] lazy core” and “a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynist, envious, megalomaniac”.
Waters then issued a statement, calling Samson’s comments “inflammatory and utterly inaccurate” and saying he “refutes [them] fully.” He added that he was currently “deliberating on his position” regarding the claims.
Ukraine’s ambassador also spoke out against the songwriter last month, calling him “another brick in the wall” of Russian propaganda. This followed the musician speaking before the United Nations Security Council, where he said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “illegal” but the war was “not unprovoked”.
The live shows affected by the allegations are both part of Waters’ 2023 This is not an exercise farewell tour. All remaining scheduled dates are yet to be determined.