Philip Anselmo was slated to play two shows in New Zealand later this month, but in the wake of the recent horrific massacre in the country, the gigs have been canceled due the Pantera legend’s past “white power” incident.
Last week, 50 people at two Muslim mosques in Christchruch, New Zealand, were killed by a white supremacist, with dozens more injured. The incident has been described by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
In January 2016, Anselmo made headlines when he yelled “white power” and gave a Nazi salute at that year’s Dimebash benefit concert in Hollywood, California. He later apologized for the incident, but has been dealing with the ramifications ever since.
Now, with Anselmo and his band The Illegals set to play Christchurch’s Club Tavern on March 26th and Aukland’s Galatos club on March 27th, New Zealand news outlet Stuff reports that both gigs have been nixed.
A message on Club Tavern’s Facebook page read, “The Philip Anselmo gig has been cancelled !!!! We are not interested in the whys so please don’t ask. We do not and will not support white supremacy or racism!!!”
Meanwhile, Galatos released its own statement, reading, “Galatos will NOT be hosting this show in our venue on the above date. Just today, information has come to hand which has made us uncomfortable about proceeding with this show.”
Promoter Ben Mulchin of Valhalla Touring added, “I just want to address this point right away — we would never book anyone with ‘white power’ or ‘white power politics’, or any other silly political agendas. No way. We need to make that very very clear — as music is our livelihood. Phil Anselmo had an indiscretion a few years back while under the influence of substances that is widely documented; by making a very hurtful remark and idiotic gesture. I honestly don’t think Phil is racist but regardless he has committed a pretty terrible act in 2016.”
Over the weekend, Slayer’s show in Christchurch was also canceled, but that decision was made due to the general “safety and wellbeing of the public after the tragic events.”