Die Antwoord Controversy
Thousands of Die Antwoord fans received an email from Ticketmaster in the early days of September advising them that their event at Toyota Music Factory on September 24 had been “still on, just rescheduled.”
However, ticketholders needn’t panic – their tickets are “still good,” according to an email sent out by the organizers.
Watkin Tudor “Ninja” Jones and Anri “Yolandi Visser” du Toit of Die Antwoord, who are the band’s mainstays, posted a video to their website shortly after the news broke.
“We’ve got so much fucking shit going on right now,” Ninja says in a video titled “A MESSAGE FOR U.”
“Our management arranged this tour for us in America before then, and we’re like… fuck,” he continues, listing all of their upcoming endeavors, including a new album and a “feature film.”
To put it another way, they don’t have time to travel to the United States right now and prefer that we be the first to hear content from their upcoming album, which is set for release in the spring of next year.
However, let’s be honest about this. Everything that’s been going on recently with them and the more likely reason for this “postponement” of the tour is well-known.
As a refresher, here’s what you need to know:
A film shot by the band’s former cinematographer at an Australian festival in 2012 has suddenly surfaced. Die Antwoord members and gay musician Andy Butler got into a fight, and it’s all captured on tape in this 11-minute clip.
That Yolandi can be heard cheering on and saying things like “Run, faggot, run!” is one of the most upsetting and controversial aspects of the film.
She can even be heard giggling hysterically when Ninja hit Butler, until Ninja urges her to stop, near the end of the altercation.
Afterwards, Ninja goes to the festival’s officials and accuses Butler of attacking Yolandi earlier that evening in the washroom, claiming that this is what sparked the brawl.
Yolandi’s “Oscar-winning performance,” Ninja says as they are ushered back inside, is that when they told the festival organizers their story, she immediately changed from smiling and thrilled to crying.
Butler’s complaint was taken very seriously by the staff and escalated to the director, who advised that he be removed from the cast and perhaps incarcerated. Ninja claims in the video that he only wants Butler to apologize and does not want him to be sent to prison.
To make a long story short, Die Antwoord were removed from two prestigious festival lineups as a result of the viral video. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they’ve also decided to cancel their upcoming US tour this fall.
“This was just a fight with someone who fouled with us,” Ninja stated on social media in defense of their actions, saying the filmmaker “cleverly manipulated” the clip to make it appear as though the incident was a hate crime.
The fact that this man was gay had no bearing on the outcome of the fight. Regardless of a person’s sexual choice, we do not care. DJ HITEK, our DJ and dearest friend, is gay, as are several members of our team.”
In addition, the band recorded a video response for their supporters. When it comes to “stylishly edited” videos, this one has got to be the best.
While at the festival, Ninja describes their experiences with Andy Butler, starting with verbal spats and concluding with the alleged attack on Yolandi in the women’s washroom, in the video.
To be honest, none of this is much of a defense. The reality, as is often the case, lies somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
It doesn’t matter what the real story is; their behavior in the video and in the days that followed were embarrassing, and this wasn’t the first time they had to deal with scandal.
After Ninja became obsessed with Zheani because of her likeness to his and Yolandi’s adolescent daughter, Zheani came up with unsettling allegations that Ninja “trafficked” her to South Africa.
South Africa’s “zef” culture, or “white trash,” has been the driving force behind Die Antwoord’s success.
On the other hand, they’ve been doing this for almost a decade now, and it’s not unreasonable to believe that some of the ideas they present onstage have found their way into their everyday lives as well.
Die Antwoord appears to be learning the hard way that behaving badly in today’s society has real-world repercussions.