During a recent conversation with NewsNation’s Banfield show, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider talked about his views on the ‘cancel culture,’ which supports that celebrities or public figures that make offensive statements should be boycotted, and compared this to his censorship battle in the ’80s.
As you may recall, back in the mid-’80s, a legal censorship battle was initiated by religious conservatives against metal music. The supporters of censorship accused heavy metal of promoting drug and alcohol abuse, violence, suicide, distorted images of sex, and was consequently seen as a threat to the psychological well-being of America’s youth.
Dee Snider and Frank Zappa were the metal figures that testified in front of Congress because they wanted to put “warning” stickers on the albums. Eventually, both sides compromised and the final decision was to put content warning stickers on the heavy metal albums so as to warn and protect the youth.
In his recent interview, Dee was asked what he thinks about the new-era cancel culture, to which he responded by saying that it’s a form of censorship. He said that while the old censorship battle was mostly led by conservative citizens, this era’s ‘cancel culture’ was established by the left. He said that he finds it very ‘odd’ to always ‘be careful about what we say and who we offend.’
He went on to say that this has affected the creative process of his upcoming solo album ‘Leave A Scar’ which will be released in July. Snider admitted that he often found himself questioning the metaphors that he used, trying to figure out whether some people would interpret them as offensive. He went on to say that although consciously he thought he was doing whatever he wanted, he later realized: ‘I was censoring myself lyrically because of the current state of things.’
Here’s what Dee Snider said in the interview when asked about his views on the rise of political correctness in the era of social media era:
“It’s censorship. And censorship has changed quite a bit. I mean, you go to when I was in Washington testifying. By the way, it was a bipartisan effort — it was the Democrats and Republicans who were joined together in putting a leash on rock and roll. But it was definitely a conservative attitude — it was a more conservative attitude, wanting to censor music. Now censorship still exists, but it’s gone from the right more to the left. We’re in this P.C. [politically correct] world where we have to be careful about what we say and who we offend, and it’s a very odd thing.
I’ve been working on lyrics for my new album, ‘Leave A Scar‘, which comes out in July, and I found myself questioning the metaphors I was using — metaphors. I mean, where is art without metaphor? Where is lyrics and writing without metaphor? Yet I was going, ‘Can I say this? Can I say this?’ I have a song called ‘In For The Kill’, and it has all these metaphorical [lines], ‘Fire at will, I’m in for the kill.’ And I was talking about going for it — just going for it — yet here I was censoring myself lyrically because of the current state of things.”