Did Five Finger Death Punch Abuse a Little Girl? (No. No They Did Not.)
It’s no secret that I think Five Finger Death Punch’s music is about as enjoyable as a kick to the nuts, but some people are clearly getting carried away with this shit.
See, what happened is this: a nine-year-old girl named Olivia Douglas was brought out on stage with the the band while they performed a song called “Burn MF” (not to be confused with Dope’s “Die MF”), the chorus of which, naturally, goes “BURN MOTHERFUCKER BURN MOTHERFUCKER BURN!” (not to be confused with Dope’s “DIE MOTHERFUCKER DIE MOTHERFUCKER DIE!”). Vocalist Ivan Moody wrapped his arm around the girl as he screamed the chorus. Olivia’s father, Mark Douglas, filmed the entire thing, presumably because he thought his daughter would want to be able to relive the memory of that time a huge rock band brought her out in front of a massive audience during a performance.
And then shit hit the fan. From Florida’s WINK News:
“This is a form of abuse,” said Miguel Fernandez, a Fort Myers attorney. “This child is being used as a prop.”
Fernandez counsels families and works with school kids, teaching then life lessons and how to succeed.
“I feel sorry for this child. This child is helpless in that position. What does this child do? She’s frozen,” he said. “To hear lyrics like that, what does it promote? It promotes violence. It promotes criminal mischief. It promotes…just chaos.”
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott, who has refused to provide police security for concerts he deemed “obscene” (examples include Ludacris and Kendrick Lamar) in order to force them to move elsewhere, says he “can’t describe my disgust” over the incident with Olivia Douglas, while the WINK weport* goes on to gloat that they “found other videos of Five Finger Death Punch concerts from all over the country with more kids onstage, being encouraged to sing the sordid song” before praising Olivia’s refusal to give up her youthful purity: “Ivan wants Olivia to sing along, in the video, and to say the words even we can’t let you hear on TV, but she won’t.” Which couldn’t possibly because she’s nine, faced with a crowd of Christ knows how many people, is nine, and is possibly as outgoing as some young metalheads.
Mark Douglas, for his part, argues:
“It’s a bad word yeah. It’s a word. That’s all it is. It’s a word… Everyone cusses… [kids are] going to hear it at school. They’re going to see it on TV, movies… It’s everywhere. You’re not going to get rid of violence… ever. You’re not going to get rid of cussing, swearing.”
Which I think is a fair assertion. I mean, maybe it’s just because I grew up in a big city, but I knew words that were much worse than “motherfucker” by the time I was Olivia’s age. Of course, it is a parents’ prerogative to say “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure my child isn’t exposed to that kind of language at such a young age,” and, presumably, any parent who feels that way isn’t gonna be taking their young ‘un to a metal concert anyway. But how is this abuse? If Fernandez and Scott were arguing that’s abuse because it’s bad for Olivia’s hearing, I might buy that. But that’s clearly not what their objection. If Ivan Moody had screamed “GIVE JESUS A HUG!” in Olivia’s ear, they’d have no problem with that.
Also: look at Olivia’s face! Does that look like the visage of an abused child?
Oh, yeah. She appears to be hating every moment of this experience. Someone please call child services immediately.
Look: I agree that Five Finger Death Punch’s music is like torture for many of us, but there are clearly people who dig it, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a responsible father (who is, by all accounts, very close with daughter) exposing her to this kind of thing. It’s just not a big deal. Society isn’t going to hell in a hand basket because of bad words. It’s going to hell in a handbasket because our leaders are worthless pieces of shit.
Also worthless pieces of shit: everyone who just put me in a position where I had to defend Five Finger Death Punch. I hope you all burn, motherfuckers.
*Sowee, couldn’t wesist.