Roger Waters Feuds With Local TV Station After News Report Leads to Youth Dance Group Canceling Concert Appearance
Roger Waters' outspoken politics are well known to anyone who's spent any length of time listening to his music. But not everyone is familiar with the former Pink Floyd member's points of view — not even some of the adults who signed off on the kids in the Shaker Dance Academy appearing alongside Waters at his concert in Cleveland last night.
This became an issue after the NBC affiliate WKYC aired a report — titled "Local Kids Perform Amid Not-So-Pretty Politics" — that confronted Academy owner Tracey Webb, as well as parents of the dancers, with the politically fueled slant of Waters' current Us + Them tour. The adults interviewed professed ignorance, and members of the Academy who'd been scheduled to perform — ages ranging from 4 to 15 — later withdrew from the show. "I don't want my young dancers being a part of the negative images being presented," Webb told the station. "I had no idea this was going to be anti-anything other than hate."
Specifically at issue was Waters' decision to dedicate a portion of the Us + Them stage presentation to words and images expressing the artist's deep disdain with the Trump administration's policies, as well as the president's personal conduct. Waters, who's drawn press coverage throughout the tour for the anti-Trump element of the tour's agenda, wasn't pleased with the report, and let the audience know it.
"WKYC, I have no idea what your agenda is," he said from the stage. "And I don't give a damn."
As tends to be the case in this sort of situation, the Shaker Academy's decision to withdraw from the show turned out to be an opportunity for another dance troupe. As reported by Cleveland Scene, Waters' reps reached out to the School of Rock, whose young dancers "rehearsed the routine into the evening and performed flawlessly." You can watch video of their efforts — as well as Waters' stage commentary — above.
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