Emmure Shirt Allegedly Depicting Battered Woman Creates Controversy; Frankie Palmeri Responds
Frankie Palmeri and Emmure are, once again, in hot water over a t-shirt.
It seems that one of the designs available with pre-orders of the deathcore outfit’s new album, Look at Yourself, features a drawing of a woman that changes when in sunlight. Seems like a neat enough idea, right? Except, uh, look at how she changes:
Yessiree: if you wear this shirt out in public in the daytime, you will appear to be wearing a shirt of a battered woman.
Except Frankie Palmeri says it’s not a battered woman.
Despite her black eye.
And bleeding lip.
This is the second time Palmeri has found himself at the center of a controversy surrounding a t-shirt design he sanctioned: in 2012, Palmeri’s Cold Soul clothing line released a shirt featuring the Columbine killers and the phrase “Shoot first ask questions later.”
Palmeri has explained his side of things with regards to this latest shirt in a statement released to Clrvynt. That statement is below, periodically disrupted by my own comments.
“Look at yourself is about all the mistakes in my life, or things that i’ve had to figure out the hard way.”
Things like “Stop making t-shirts.”
But not things like “Begin every new sentence with a capital letter.”
“its about self examination and really just taking a good, long, hard look at myself…”
Self-examination and taking a (metaphorical) look at oneself are the same thing. Also, he basically just said “The album Look at Yourself is about looking at yourself.”
“…and exposing those parts of me…”
Please hold your easy jokes.
“…and also exposing other parts of other people.”
“Look at Yourself is about looking at yourself but also looking at other people. The title Just Look at Stuff in General didn’t test well, however, so we shortened it.”
“the shirt design is in no way endorsing nor portraying domestic violence. the art was not meant to depict a beaten women, but a person with drug related issues.”
How come every time Palmeri attempts to address drug addiction, he ends up releasing something misogynistic that makes no actual reference to drugs or addiction? Remember his song “Drug Dealer Friend”? There are only four lines of lyrics in the whole track: “I wanna watch you suck his dick/ I know you fucking love it bitch/ Do you see me now?/ Look into my fucking eyes.” Palmeri said it was about “about discovering just how weak people can be when it comes to substance abuse and how blind they become to how it affects the people around them.”
“it was meant to portray a person who ignores all of their problems in life, someone who can look in the mirror and not see the issues they truly have.”
There is nothing about the shirt to which supports this idea. It’s not even clear that she’s looking in a mirror.
“that was the whole basis of the product title ‘reflection’.”
Here’s another good lesson learned: do not rely on product titles to explain your product.
“this was a design that was presented to me by my management team…”
“Who I will now throw under the bus.”
“…that i personally was not a big fan of the way it was illustrated.”
I’m curious how Palmeri knew it depicted “a person who ignores all of their problems in life” if he had so little to do with it. Maybe it arrived with a mission statement from the artist or something.
“but in all honesty i didn’t even think about it from that perspective.”
Alright, Palmeri is either even dumber than we thought, or being 100% disingenuous here. Even if the art wasn’t “meant” to depict a beaten woman… it does. I mean, surely, anyone with two brain cells could have looked at that drawing and anticipated this interpretation. So now this whole drama feels manufactured to help sell records.
“the whole idea had always been about self reflection and a piece of artwork that we tried to associate with the emotions of the record.”
It’s true. This record will make you feel like someone physically abused you.
“we even intended to release another version similar to this for our upcoming tour; but instead of a girls face it would be my own face with the ink changing to depict a disgusting person.”
I think he left out the word “more” before the word “disgusting.”
“the world is a beautiful place filled with disgust, it’s time to take a step back and look at yourself if you want to move forward.”
Again, no clue how the fuck the shirt was meant to convey this concept, but it didn’t. Not even close.
So this whole incident echoes the Cold Soul/Columbine shirt drama in another way, too: in that instance, Palmeri defended the design by claiming it was somehow meant to be satirical, despite having no satricial elements.
In other words, if Palmeri feels like doing any self-reflection and lesson-learning after today, the lesson to be learned should be, “Frankie Palmeri does not do ‘big artistic ideas’ well.” This could all be avoided if he’d just stick to screaming about Street Fighter and leave the meaningful work to artists whose IQ is larger than their waist size.