Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Walt Disney Strikes Back Against Machine Head

Walt Disney blocked Machine Head from performing at the December 4th show at the House of Blues Orlando which is on Disney's Lake Buena Vista property. Dethklok, All That Remains, and Black Dahlia Murder will still be allowed to perform, but the date will not be made up so refunds will be available.

Machine Head was banned in 2007 for 'violent imagery' and 'inflammatory lyrics' along with 'undesirable fans' given as the reason. Disney began pressuring promoter Live Nation into removing certain bands from the bill at House of Blues Anaheim and House of Blues Orlando. Machine Head shows at the Dallas and Houston House Of Blues venues will go on as scheduled.

In a 2007 guest blog for Headbanger's Blog, Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn wrote about his views on citizenship and censorship:
When a corporation like Disney forces the cancellation of your show because your style of music is 'inappropriate,' it really sticks in your craw, especially when you think about what's playing at the theater right next door. For example, now playing at the Downtown Disney AMC Theater are a number of movies rated 'R' for, among other things, 'strong sexual content,' 'strong horror violence,' 'intense sequences of graphic brutal violence,' nudity and drug use. 
It goes without saying that a heavy metal show is (with the exception of violence) fairly tame by those standards. Hell, even by the oft-assumed worst-case scenarios preached by ignorant conservative groups about 'the evils of heavy metal,' the genre still falls well short of offering its fans the sort of influences present in the major motion pictures playing a mere hop, skip and a jump away. 
So that makes you wonder exactly what it is about having a heavy metal show at the traditionally metal-friendly House of Blues next door that seems to scare Disney enough to allegedly threaten and pressure promoters into canceling all currently booked and on-sale metal shows, and prevent the booking of any future shows within the genre. 
What is it that metal says to people that makes it so much worse than the content described in the ratings of the aforementioned movies? Is it as simple asDisney wanting nothing to do with metal fans? And if that's the case, how do you think the public would react if they made the same decision about hip-hop fans?Or does it have something to do with the fact that metal says what most other media is afraid to say?
It is difficult to believe in 2012 there is this type of censorship, but at the same time a private company should have the right to deny entry to whom it deems offensive. The overwhelming difference is when those decisions are so arbitrary and have no qualification. Dethklok's 'I Ejaculate Fire' will be fine on their stage, but a song condemning violence from Machine Head is not.

Also to wait till the tour is booked, tickets are purchased, and the date approaches to make a decision simply defies logic...

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