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Roger Waters dropped by BMG after Pink Floyd co-founder’s Israel comments

When speaking to the United Nations Security Council at Russia’s invitation last year, Waters claimed that its invasion of Ukraine was 'not unprovoked'.

By Nick Reilly

Roger Waters on stage in Santiago, Chile, 2018
Waters has been at odds with his Pink Floyd bandmates for decades. (Photo: Originaltm/Wikimedia Commons)

Music rights company BMG is preparing to split entirely from Roger Waters following controversial comments he made on Israel, Ukraine, and the United States, Variety reports.

According to the publication, the Pink Floyd co-founder and German-brd company signed a publishing agreement in 2016 and had plans to release a re-recorded version of the band’s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon last year. However, the deal was tossed after Thomas Coesfeld was hired as CEO on July 1, 2023, and the record was released by U.K.-brd label Cooking Vinyl instead.

A rep for BMG declined to comment to Rolling Stone.

The musician has also used his platform as a sounding board for political takes. In August 2022, he branded President Joe Biden a “war criminal” during a CNN broadcast and claimed he was directly “fueling the war in the Ukraine.” The following month, Waters published an open letter to Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska that targeted the country’s Western weapons source.

When speaking to the United Nations Security Council in February last year, the artist denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “illegal,” but also claimed it was “not unprovoked.” He added, “So I also condemn the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms. There, that’s out of the way.”

Waters has pointed to alleged conspiracies against him in the past, including in a 2022 interview with Rolling Stone.  Waters said he believes his name is on a “kill list that is supported by the Ukrainian government,” and in the same conversation, the singer shifted the blame from the ongoing war from Russia to NATO, suggesting that the organisation essentially left Putin with no other choice but to invade Ukraine.

The artist has been a longtime supporter of Palestine and a critic of Israel, and over the years, his support of causes such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement have led to claims that he is antisemitic. Waters has always denied these accusations.

In an interview with Glenn Greenwald last November, Waters said he had been “fired” by BMG and portrayed the parting as a result of pressure from the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish nonprofit. A source for BMG told Variety that the company does not agree with Waters’ version of events.

From Rolling Stone.