Roger Waters dropped by record label after Israel comments

The former Pink Floyd frontman said that October 7 was ‘blown out of proportion’


English musician Roger Waters performs during his tour "This Is Not a Drill" at the National Stadium in Brasilia, on October 24, 2023. (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP) (Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images)

Roger Waters has been dumped by his German record label following comments he has made about Israel, Ukraine and the United States.

The Pink Floyd co-founder, who has been a longtime critic of Israel, and western policy in the Middle East, has made a series of controversial statements since October 7, including asserting that "the whole thing was blown out of proportion by Israeli lies."

Last year, Waters was investigated by German police over the “Nazi-style” costume he wore on stage during a Berlin show. Displaying Nazi symbols, flags and uniforms is illegal in Germany where Waters was investigated on suspicion of “incitement of the people”. Waters has always denied accusations of antisemitism.

An open letter signed by some of the world’s biggest Jewish organisations urged BMG to end its relationship with him in July, before the latest Israel-Hamas war.

In the letter, the signatories wrote: “We believe that artists, given their massive influence in the world today, have a unique and important responsibility to speak out against bigotry.

“Waters has repeatedly shown that he’s determined to do the opposite – and would instead use his voice, his platform, and his public microphone to fan the flames of hatred.”

The letter was signed by the Community Security Trust, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, B’nai B’rith International, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Canada, the Conference of European Rabbis and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Waters spoke of being “fired” by BMG in a video interview with Glenn Greenwald in November, during a conversation in which the musician blamed his parting from the company as the result of pressure by pro-Israeli interests toward BMG’s parent company, Bertelsmann, and suppression of his political beliefs.

Waters signed a publishing deal in 2016 with BMG, which was due to release a version of the 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon last year, before the deal was ended by their new CEO Thomas Coesfeld.

Last year Waters claimed that Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine was “not unprovoked”, when he talked the United Nations Security Council.

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