I remember hearing about a snarky comment from Gene Simmons earlier this week but…
…now he’s really gone and said too much for everybody’s liking!
Gene is someone I’ve always admired as an entrepreneur because he has single-handedly turned KISS into a global brand that offers anything you could ever wish to buy with KISS integrated into it! I’ve even heard that there are KISS coffins!
So I did hear Gene say three days ago that immigrants need to learn to speak English. It made me laugh to hear him say that honestly because it seemed like such a random comment. However, as I dug deeper into the story…Gene is an immigrant himself! He was born in Haifa, Israel and moved here with his parents at the age of 8, speaking no English! That’s such an incredible fun fact to know! 😀
So Gene’s off-color comment to immigrants is not the reason why we’re seeing so much backlash towards him today. The comments that he is under fire for are the ones he made in his interview with SongFacts.com.
During the interview, Gene said he doesn’t: “get along with anybody who’s a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim.”
That’s a fair statement to make and I fully support freedom of speech, but then he said:
“Drug addicts and alcoholics are always, ‘The world is a harsh place.’ My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don’t want to hear **** all about ‘the world as a harsh place.’ She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.’ F*** you, then kill yourself.”
Geez, Gene! Did he have his coffee yet?
Then he went on to say: “I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I’m the guy who says ‘Jump!’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, ‘That’s it, I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to jump.’ Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the f*** up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.”
Now I can fully respect his mother as a Holocaust survivor and I can’t even begin to understand what that must have been like to go through, but why is he discrediting people who battle with addiction and/or depression?
Gene has since deleted his Twitter account and he made this statement:
I’m amazed at the amount of insensitivity he shared for the human race in the interview and that’s certainly not the Gene I know and admire.
Deleting your Twitter as a public figure is a huge deal and doesn’t go unnoticed, but that’s the least of Gene’s worries considering that radio stations are now banning KISS music to make a point that they won’t stand by Gene’s words. Not just random stations either! Rock ‘N Roll stations are jumping on the Bash Gene bandwagon together!
I’m sorry for Gene and I hope it will all blow over. For now, as they say: “Shut up and sing!”