Artist News Legal Media

Ariel Pink says blacklash to Trump rally attendance has left him “destitute and on the street”

By | Published on Friday 15 January 2021

Ariel Pink

Ariel Pink has spoken about the backlash to his attendance at the recent pro-Donald Trump rally in Washington, DC. In an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, he says that his treatment – including being dropped by his label – is unfair, when all he wanted to do was peacefully show support for the outgoing president.

The event’s aim, of course, was to push Trump’s baseless claims that he has been deprived of a second presidential term by a fraudulent election. Those claims increased in intensity until sparking the violent siege at the US Capitol building that followed last week’s rally, in which Trump supporters sought to disrupt the official confirmation by Congress of Joe Biden’s win in the election.

However, Pink says that he does not buy into Trump’s election conspiracy theories.

“There’s been a very big effort to unseat the president, or at least not let him have four more years, which I think is fair – I mean, he lost”, he says. “I think he lost fairly. I’m not disputing anything. Biden is perfectly fine with me as president. But I think that [Democrats are] still scared, or something like that. It seems like they’re sore winners at this point. And people seem to want to kick me down as well, much like they have Trump”.

“This is what I voted against”, he goes on. “I didn’t vote for Trump so much as against cancel culture. This environment that’s been blazing for about four years, that’s about to ramp up and get even worse”.

Days after the protest, Pink was dropped by his label Mexican Summer. That, he says, happened despite assurances it would not. “My label had written [to] me to inform me they were getting a lot of heat and a lot of backlash for supporting me, but they assured me that they were not going to drop me”, he claims. “24 hours later they texted me that they were going to go public and drop me”.

Although Pink has not released a studio album since 2017, he has put out a series of rarites compilations through the label. Three such releases were set to come out at the end of this month, but have now been pulled.

“I can’t tour either at this point”, he adds, meaning the loss of his label deal and the cancelling of those rarity releases creates financial challenges. “It sort of leaves me destitute and on the street. I’m sort of overwhelmed right now and I don’t know exactly what to do”.

As for what he could have done to avoid this, he says: “I didn’t make any apology, because I felt like I hadn’t done anything wrong, but these articles obviously placed me at the siege, which I was not at. Of course I do not advocate for violence at all. I was there for a peaceful rally and that’s all it was to me. But there was no fact-checking. These 130 articles went out in the space of 24 hours and they succumbed to cancel culture”.

It’s worth noting that coverage of Pink’s attendance at the Trump rally has, on the whole, accepted that he did not take part in the attack on the Capitol building, largely based on his own comments on his now deactived Twitter account. However, he says, prior to being asked to speak to Fox News, he was unable to get his side of the story across.

“Right now I don’t have any other recourse”, he says. “Am I going to be able to get my statement out in magazines? Right now there’s a narrative being pushed, and not many people are going to let a counter-narrative enter into the fold. There’s no nuance. There’s nothing else for me to do. I can’t even afford my lawyer right now”.

The pressure on Pink’s finances is exacerbated by another thing that happened on 6 Jan, the day of the Trump rally. On that day, he lost an attempt to get a restraining order against an ex-girlfriend and former bandmate, Charlotte Ercoli Coe, who he claims has been trying to blackmail him. She argues that he was physically and sexually abusive to her.

According to Pitchfork, Pink’s filing was dismissed on the grounds that comments made in the media and emails sent to Mexican Summer by Coe, which Pink deemed harassment, were actually “constitutionally-protected activities”. As well as denying the restraining order, which would have blocked her from speaking publicly about her accusations, the court also ruled that Coe was entitled to “reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs” from Pink.

The attorney representing Pink in the case, Thomas Mortimer, says that they are planning to appeal the decision. “The pending matter is now on appeal and the subject of a separate lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court”, Mortimer tells Pitchfork. “It is [Pink’s] position that the speech and communications at the heart of the case are not protected and [are] defamatory”.

Watch Pink’s Fox News interview here: