Music

Die Antwoord Respond To Hate Crime Allegations After Being Dropped By Festivals

The video - taken at Future Music Festival in 2012, appears to show the duo yelling homophobic slurs at another artist.

Die Antwoord photo

UPDATE: Die Antwoord cameraman Ben Crossman denies he edited footage of alleged hate crime. 


South African group Die Antwoord have been removed from the line-up of two festivals after a video surfaced of them allegedly appearing to physically assault and shout homophobic slurs at Andy Butler of the band Hercules and Love Affair.

The video — captured by the band’s former videographer Ben Crossman — first surfaced in July and reportedly has been taken down and re-uploaded a number of times. It depicts the band in an altercation with Butler at Future Music Festival in Adelaide in 2012; at one point, Die Antwoord’s Ninja runs up to Butler and appears to spit in his face, while Yolandi can be heard using the word “fa**ot” repeatedly.

“Run, fa**ot, run! Run for your life bitch,” we hear at one moment in the video.

The band were subsequently dropped from the line-ups of both Louder Than Life and Life is Beautiful festivals. Neither festival has made an official public statement linking the video to their removal; in a short social media post, Louder Than Life simply said that the band wouldn’t be appearing “due to unforeseen circumstances“, while Life is Beautiful responded to an Instagram DM confirming the band were no longer on the line-up.

Die Antwoord

Photo via edm.com

Die Antwoord responded to the controversy on their Facebook page yesterday, writing that the video was “cleverly edited” and claiming that Crossman had actually “beat up the guy” himself.

“This was just a fight with someone who fucked with us. Not a hate crime,” Ninja wrote. “This fight had nothing to with the fact that this guy was gay. We dont [sic] care about people’s sexual preference. Our DJ and best friend DJ HITEK is gay, and alot [sic] of people in our crew are gay. But if a person (no matter what their sexual preference it) keeps harassing us over and over, then physically harrasses ¥o-landi, there will obviously be repercussion [sic].”

Ninja then accused Crossman of being “on a rampage” to make the band look bad, because “we fired him years ago for being mentally unstable, and malicious towards our family”.

He goes on to write that Butler had “followed ¥o-landi into the girls bathroom and wouldn’t let her out, and she had to physically push past him to get out of the bathroom.”

“She then ran to me and (our camera man) Ben and told us what just happened. This is why we all got up and ran after this guy (which Ben has not included in his edit). As I ran up to the guy from Hercules, he threw a drink at me and punched me so I hit him back, and he ran off.”

Read the full statement from the band below. Andy Butler has not yet publicly responded to the video, or the band’s statement.


Die Antwoord Statement

Ninja speaking.

In relation to the“hate crime” video in Adeliaide filmed by our ex-cameraman Ben Crossman:

Ben has cleverly edited this video clip to make it seem like me and ¥o-landi commited a hate crime towards a person because they are gay. However Ben beat up the guy from Hercules himself while filming this same video clip.

This was just a fight with someone who fucked with us. Not a hate crime.

This fight had nothing to with the fact that this guy was gay. We dont care about people’s sexual preference. Our DJ and best friend DJ HITEK is gay, and alot of people in our crew are gay.

But if a person (no matter what their sexual preference it) keeps harrassing us over and over, then physically harrasses ¥o-landi, there will obviously be repercussion.

Ben Crossman has been on a rampage to make us look bad in the media because we fired him years ago, for being mentally unstable, and malicious towards our family.

Here is what happened during our Australian tour that lead up to the incident in Adelaide:

While Die Antwoord were on tour in Australia (8 years ago) during the Big Day Out festival, ¥o-landi and I were having breakfast at a hotel when some guy we did not know pulled up a chair at our table and said: “I need to speak with you guys.”

I told the guy: “We are having some private time.”

To which this guy replied: “Oh you are always having private time, aren’t you,” then he walked off.

A minute later, the guy walked past us again and said to us: “You need to get slapped through the face with my dick,” and he walked off again, and sat down at a table nearby with a friend.

We asked around later if anyone knew who this person was, and we found out that he was a singer from some band called Hercules. We were on tour with all the bands from Big Day Out for 7 shows, and everywhere we went, this guy kept stalking us and passing fucked up comments at us over and over.

At the end of the tour, during our final festival in Adelaide, the guy from Hercules followed ¥o-landi into the girls bathroom and wouldn’t let her out, and she had to physically push past him to get out of the bathroom. She then ran to me and (our camera man) Ben and told us what just happened. This is why we all got up and ran after this guy (which Ben has not included in his edit).

As I ran up to the guy from Hercules, he threw a drink at me and punched me so I hit him back, and he ran off. Ben (our camera man) then chased the guy and got into a scuff with him. During this scuff Ben punched the guy from Hercules in the face. The guy then ran away screaming for security to arrest us.

In the heat of the moment I quickly told ¥o-landi to be as dramatic as possible about what happened so that we wouldn’t be detained for this guys bullshit story he was busy spinning to security. The festival asked us if we wanted to press charges against the guy and we said no, as the incident was now over.

At the end of the day we are kind people with good hearts who make surreal art and hardcore rap music. We dont look for trouble, and we believe in love, respect and equality. But if you fuck with us, we gonna pull up.