Die Antwoord have been dropped from two festivals in the United States after a disturbing video involving Hercules & Love Affair singer Andy Butler surfaced on the web.
In the video, which pieces together an interaction from 2012 at the Future Music Festival in Adelaide, Australia, we see Ninja (Watkin Tudor Jones) and Yolandi Visser spitting in the face of Butler and yelling homophobic slurs at him. The video continues as they chase after Butler and Die Antwoord attempt to get festival staff involved, claiming Butler sexually assaulted Visser in a port-a-potty. Ninja also seems to congratulate Visser on a great acting job, though it isn't totally clear what the acting is for.
Die Antwoord have now been removed from Louisville’s Louder Than Life Festival and Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas lineups according to Resident Advisor.
Content warning: the following video contains homophobic slurs:
To their credit, Die Antwoord have responded in a statement on Facebook, saying that is a case of convenient editing by their former cameraman, Ben Crossman, who has a grudge against them and has mental health issues.
“In relation to the “hate crime” video in Adelaide filmed by our ex-cameraman Ben Crossman: Ben has cleverly edited this video clip to make it seem like me and ¥o-landi committed a hate crime towards a person because they are gay. However Ben beat up the guy from Hercules himself while filming this same video clip,” explain the duo.
In their statement, they describe Butler as harassing Visser throughout their time together on the FMF tour, even saying he trapped her in a bathroom.
“This was just a fight with someone who fucked with us. Not a hate crime.
This fight had nothing to with the fact that this guy was gay. We dont care about people's sexual preference. Our DJ and best friend DJ HITEK is gay, and alot of people in our crew are gay,” the South Africans explain.
“At the end of the tour, during our final festival in Adelaide, the guy from Hercules followed ¥o-landi into the girls bathroom and wouldn’t let her out, and she had to physically push past him to get out of the bathroom. She then ran to me and (our camera man) Ben and told us what just happened. This is why we all got up and ran after this guy (which Ben has not included in his edit).”
This appears to be a messy situation that could be a Project Veritas-styled hit job, or something very bad by Die Antwoord. We don’t have the facts on any of the previous incidents that led up to attack on Butler, but we do have the video of Die Antwoord attacking him and calling him homophobic slurs. No matter the circumstances, using someone’s sexual orientation as a weapon against them and calling someone slurs is not ok. There are many other potent curse words that could be used and gotten the job done.