Marilyn Manson defends fake gun prop as an “act of theater”

Scott Legato/Getty ImagesMarilyn Manson has issued a statement regarding his use of a fake gun prop during his show at Knotfest in San Bernardino, California Sunday night. In the statement, obtained by Variety, the musician defended the prop as “an act of theater.”

“In an era where mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence, this was an act of theater in an attempt to make a statement about how easily accessible semi-automatic weapons are and how seeing them has become normalized,” says Manson.

Manson used the prop during his performance of his song “We Know Where You F****** Live,” a track from his new album, Heaven Upside Down. He pointed the gun at the audience while he sang into a microphone attached to its scope. The move was criticized as insensitive in light of the mass shooting that occurred in Texas that Sunday. The city of San Bernardino also suffered a mass shooting in 2015.

“My art has always been a reaction to popular culture and my way to make people think about the horrible things that happen in this world,” Manson’s statement reads. “My performance was not meant to be disrespectful or show any insensitivity.”

“The prop microphone I used on stage was handed to me with the approval of a police officer,” he continues. “My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of REAL guns.”

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