Appearing at a forum supporting jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the 77-year-old claimed the Facebook founder offered him “a huge amount of money” to use the 1979 track “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)”.
“It’s a request for the rights to use my song, ‘Another Brick in the Wall, Pt 2’ in the making of a film to promote Instagram,” he said. “So it’s a missive from Mark Zuckerberg to me arrived this morning, with an offer of a huge, huge amount of money, and the answer is - f*** you! No f***ing way!”
“And I only mention that because it’s the insidious movement of them to take over absolutely everything. So those of us who do have any power, and I do have a little bit — in terms of control of the publishing of my songs I do anyway. So I will not be a party to this bull****, Zuckerberg,” he added.
Waters also called the Facebook co-founder an “idiot” and accused him of “preventing” Assange’s story from “getting out to the general public.”
Reading an email purportedly written by Zuckerberg, Waters quoted: “We want to thank you for considering this project. We feel that the core sentiment of this song is still so prevalent and necessary today, which speaks to how timeless a work (it is).”
“It’s true, and yet they want to sojourn it,” the singer said.
“They want to use it to make Facebook and Instagram even bigger and more powerful than it already is, so that it can continue to censor all of us in this room and prevent this story about Julian Assange getting out to the general public...” he said.
“You think, how did this little pr***, who started off going, ‘She’s pretty, we’ll give her a 4 out of 5, she’s ugly, we’ll give her a one.’ How the f*** did he get any power in anything? And yet here he is, one of the most powerful idiots in the world,” he added.
Facebook confirmed that a marketing agency working on its behalf did reach out to Waters, but said that Zuckerberg was not involved in this process and that no financial details were discussed.
The social media giant said it respected musicians’ decisions on whether or not they want to be involved in its campaigns.
In 2020, Waters marched through central London to protest against the extradition of Assange to the USA.
Other prominent supporters were Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, and Vivienne Westwood, economist and designer.
Demonstrators held signs which read “don’t extradite Assange” and “no extraordinary rendition”.
In May 2019, Assange was charged under the US Espionage Act of 1917 on 17 counts for publishing classified material provided to him by the US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010.