TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider recently sat down with NewsNation’s “Banfield” and spoke about political correctness in the social media era and the rise of ‘cancel culture’.
When asked his opinion on cancel culture, which is the idea that someone, usually a celebrity or a public figure, whose ideas or comments are considered offensive should be boycotted, Dee said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It’s censorship. And censorship has changed quite a bit. I mean, you go to when I was in Washington testifying. By the way, it was a bipartisan effort — it was the Democrats and Republicans who were joined together in putting a leash on rock and roll. But it was definitely a conservative attitude — it was a more conservative attitude, wanting to censor music. Now censorship still exists, but it’s gone from the right more to the left. We’re in this P.C. [politically correct] world where we have to be careful about what we say and who we offend, and it’s a very odd thing.”
He continued: “I’ve been working on lyrics for my new album, ‘Leave A Scar’, which comes out in July, and I found myself questioning the metaphors I was using — metaphors. I mean, where is art without metaphor? Where is lyrics and writing without metaphor? Yet I was going, ‘Can I say this? Can I say this?’ I have a song called ‘In For The Kill’, and it has all these metaphorical [lines], ‘Fire at will, I’m in for the kill.’ And I was talking about going for it — just going for it — yet here I was censoring myself lyrically because of the current state of things.
“What is censorship? What’s not censorship?” Dee added. “Boy, I would say, as long as you’re not screaming ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theater, you’re cool.”
Dee is no stranger to the battle against censorship as back in 1985, the Parents’ Music Resource Center (PMRC), led by Tipper Gore, attempted to introduce a parental warning system that would label all albums containing “offensive material.” Snider was called before congress to testify in defense of music alongside Frank Zappa and John Denver.
Snider wrote about his experiences for the Huffington Post in 2015, saying: “Thirty years later, everything and nothing has changed. The ultra-conservatives still want to dictate to the masses what they deem acceptable for the general public to see and hear. The record industry is a mere shadow of its former self (apt punishment for its cowardice), and CDs and vinyl albums have almost become ‘novelties’ in a world driven by downloads. Yet, the warning labels still adorn individual track listings and albums online.
“While initially my appearance at those Senate hearings was damaging to my career and reputation, long term it was beneficial, showing people for the first time that I was much more than a screaming ‘Raggedy Ann on acid’ and a fairly intelligent, sentient human being. Fortunately, I have gone on to better things.”