Roger Waters, a co-founder and ex-lead singer for rock music giants Pink Floyd, has lost a multimillion dollar sponsorship deal with American Express (Amex) for expressing support to students showing solidarity with the Palestinian people, Mondoweiss reported yesterday.
According to Page Six, the credit card giant has baulked on its plans to put up $4m (£3.2m) for his 2017 solo tour in North America following his comments at Oldchella festival – an event the company sponsored – earlier this month.
Waters said: “I’m going to send out all of my most heartfelt love and support to all those young people on the campuses of the universities of California who are standing up for their brothers and sisters in Palestine and supporting the BDS movement.”
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, better known as BDS, is a movement that seeks to apply non-violent, peaceful means of resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestine through the use of grassroots economic measures.
Back in 2012 Waters − who has been accused by some of anti-Semitism − joined the anti-Israel BDS movement. Waters has previously urged fellow musicians to join the movement in an open letter published in the Guardian: “[This is] a plea to my colleagues in the music industry, and also to artists in other disciplines, to join this cultural boycott.”
Waters added that he was supporting these students in their stand for the Palestinian people “in the hope that we may encourage the government of Israel to end the occupation.”
Rather than staying quiet on the issue, Amex then decided to leak the story of the contract cancellation to the New York Post, in what some have deemed as a retaliatory measure taken by finance company against the Pink Floyd frontman.
An Amex spokesman told the New York Post:
Roger is putting on a huge show. The company was asked to sponsor his tour for $4 million, but pulled out because it did not want to be part of his anti-Israel rhetoric
Mondoweiss reported that Amex had previously sponsored popstar Beyonce’s performances, including ones which she used as a platform to protest police brutality against African Americans. However, Amex seem to have an issue with Waters’ support for Palestinian rights.