Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, whose concert imagery recalling Nazi Germany generated a rebuke from Biden administration officials in June, is coming under fire again in a new investigation from the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
On Wednesday, the group put out a 37-minute documentary about its findings and shared emails allegedly written by Waters in which the musician asks a crew if they can write "dirty k---" on the inflatable pig that is a staple of Waters' concerts. Also released were interviews with former music associates who contend Waters mocked his former band member's grandmother who died in the Holocaust and demanded that vegetarian food, which he called "Jew food," be taken away.
Amid numerous such allegations in recent years, Rogers has repeatedly claimed he is not antisemitic. USA TODAY has reached out to Waters' representatives for comment.
“It is hard to imagine a rockstar emblazoning the N-word above their concerts, but Mr. Waters demanded that his crew do exactly that with the K-word," said Gideon Falter, chief executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, in a statement. "Not only that, but he seems to have spent time humiliating and harassing his Jewish staff. One cannot help but watch this film and wonder what kind of person uses their power to this effect. Is Roger Waters an antisemite? Now people can make up their own minds.”
The investigation by the volunteer-led non-profit included a 2010 email from Waters to his crew, asking if the floating pig could be "covered with symbols" such as a "blue sky, crosses, stars of david" and a "crescent and star, dollar signs, shell oil shell, etc" as well as epithets such as "my pig right or wrong," "dirty k---" and "scum."
The interviews included conversations with Norbert Stachel, Waters’ onetime saxophonist, and Bob Ezrin, who produced "The Wall," which next to "Dark Side of the Moon" is one of Pink Floyd's most popular and enduring albums.
Stachel recalls a tour in Lebanon where, over dinner one night, Waters exclaimed, "Where’s the meat? What’s with this? This is Jew food! What’s with the Jew food! Take away the Jew food!' And I’m just sitting there: ‘Oh, boy,’ you know, tongue-tied again and kind of in a panic.”
It was Stachel's grandmother who died in the Holocaust Waters allegedly mocked.
Ezrin relates an incident in which he and Waters were discussing agent Bryan Morrison, and Waters then sang a song about him that ended with a couplet insulting Morrison's Jewish heritage.
Earlier this year, Deborah Lipstadt, U.S. special envoy to combat antisemitism, retweeted a May 24 post condemning a concert in Berlin during which Waters appeared on stage in a costume reminiscent of Nazi-era Germany. The original post was written by the European Commission's antisemitism envoy Katharina von Schnurbein, who is German.
The State Department supported Lipstadt's post, saying that Waters has “a long track record of using antisemitic tropes” and the German concert “contained imagery that is deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust.”
Waters' behavior has also drawn fire from both Pink Floyd lyricist Polly Samson and her husband, Pink Floyd guitarist and singer-songwriter David Gilmour, who long ago parted ways with his bandmate.
In a post on X last February, Samson wrote: “Sadly @rogerwaters you are antisemitic to your rotten core. Also a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac. Enough of your nonsense.”
Her comment was reposted by Gilmour, who added: "Every word demonstrably true."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Roger Waters of Pink Floyd sent antisemitic emails, report claims