Norma Jean’s Cory Brandan Issues Lengthier Apology for Anti-Black Lives Matter Message
Earlier this week, Norma Jean frontman Cory Brandan ran afoul of a significant portion of the metal and hardcore community when he shared an insensitive image that seemed to mock the Black Lives Matter movement on social media. Brandan deleted the image fairly quickly (although not before someone got a screenshot) and offered a semi-apology, stating that while he “back[s] the [Black Lives Matter] movement” and is “positive George Floyd was murdered and the police need to be prosecuted,” he also “think[s] people are extremely emotional right now (which is to be expected) [and] I don’t think everyone is thinking rationally enough because of it.”
But the attempt to step back his initial message didn’t have the effect Brandan was obviously hoping for, with many noting that Cory failed to address systematic racism in American law enforcement and arguing that saying “people are extremely emotional right now” was disrespectfully dismissive.
Now Brandan has issued a far lengthier apology, the focus of which is the way that the vocalist was inappropriately derisive, and how he needs to “take time to listen and educate myself” about the Black Lives Matter movement. Which is a good start… although he still doesn’t address the manner in which he seemed to overlook the larger issue of racism in America, which is what the George Floyd protests are really all about.
You can read Brandan’s new statement below:
“Monday, in frustration about infighting I was reading between groups with the same goal, I posted a gif without considering its context. A friend let me know the next day that it was similar to a BLM graphic, hurting supporters of the movement, so I deleted it. But the damage was done.
“I had been up late following conversations about black out Tuesday. I saw creators and supporters extremely divided in approach and was calling it a night. I flippantly searched ‘blah’ and I saw the scrolling gif looking like the credits at the end of a movie. That gif inspired my text ‘roll credits,’ to say ‘goodnight, I’m out’. My ignorance to the gif’s reference is obvious to me now, though it wasn’t my intention.
“Later that night, I retweeted a post from a supporter who was posting their frustration with the black out Tuesday squares driving information off the Black Lives Matter feeds.
“This was all before the shit hit the fan on Tuesday with the screenshot of that gif post. I know I should have shown my empathy rather than posting gifs and retweets.
“Let me be clear though, Black Lives Matter.
“I realize that there’s no going back for some people I upset and there’s no amount of explaining that will undo their hurt, but please know that I would never have posted that gif if I knew what it was being used for. I, and many others in this country, have a lot to learn. I hope more will commit to that, too.
“I understand how it looks in the rear view, but the original graphics that gif referenced were beneath my radar. That is my fault, too. I own my responsibility to be more informed.
“I’m sorry to our fans who are questioning our message and our music. I’m especially sorry to our Black fans who are hurting right now and must think something terrible of me. You deserve better from me. I’m so sorry.
“I’ll be taking a break from my social accounts to take time to listen and educate myself. I’ve had difficult conversations about how deeply I hurt people I love.
“My intent was to comment on internet drama, not to disparage black voices and a movement that is important.
“I understand how my shit-talking attitude, sarcasm, and the way I present myself online made it easy for people believe it was an act of aggression and not an ill-informed misstep. That’s on me, too. I take responsibility for all of it.
“I respect the scene and I just ask that the other guys involved with Norma Jean and Hundred Suns would not have to suffer for my mistake. They are still posting in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as they have been all week. They are vocal supporters and this should not reflect on them at all. No one else should have to bear the weight of my actions or the responsibility of educating me. All of that is on me alone.
“I’m sorry. I don’t expect your forgiveness, but I will be better, because you deserve better.”