Slayer have issued a statement about controversy that arose when the band's Instagram posted an image of Donald Trump giving the metal horns with the band. The source of the photo was frontman Tom Araya, who called people who were upset by it "snowflakes" in the post.
"As was verified by Tom, this was his post, is not something the band would have posted if asked, and does not belong on a Slayer social page," the band tells Rolling Stone. "We all have our personal opinions, some of which we have voiced in the past, but Slayer has never endorsed any political party or any candidate, and the band intends to keep it that way."
The account had originally posted the photo on inauguration day and then deleted it. It was reposted on Tuesday. "Believe it or not this picture was posted by me Tom Araya on 1/20 'cause I thought it was funny," the singer wrote. "I was amazed at the comments about the picture some positive some negative more amazing was in two hours there was 10,000 likes ... But I never would have guessed that there [were] so many snowflakes commenting their distaste for the new president. Like him or not he is the president ... Woke up the next morning and found someone had deleted the post ... Can someone please explain why...?"
Believe it or not this picture was posted by me Tom Araya on 1/20 cause I thought it was funny ... I was amazed at the comments about the picture some positive some negative more amazing was in 2 hours there was 10,000 likes ... But i never would have guessed that there where so many snowflakes commenting their distaste for the new president. Like him or not he is the president ... woke up the next morning and found someone had deleted the post ... can some one please explain why...?
Last November, Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway derided protesters on Fox News, telling Sean Hannity, ""We're just treating these adolescents and these millennials like precious snowflakes." The term has since been used primarily as a catchall insult for young liberals. Araya responded in the comments section of his post with Urban Dictionary's "Snowflake" definition: "An overly sensitive person, incapable of dealing with any opinions that differ from their own. These people can often be seen congregating in 'safe zones' on college campuses."
Araya continued to reply to fans in the post's comments sections, at one point making a homophobic joke. "Mike Pence turning fruits into vegetables," he wrote with laughing emojis, according to Pitchfork. He also wrote, "Thanks ... to everybody that has commented thanks for insight... this is how fake news gets started, not once did I say that I supported Trump... and assuming I speak for the band you are mistaking [sic] .. the picture did exactly what I thought it would do... piss some of you off."
Last summer, Araya's bandmate, guitarist Kerry King, told Rolling Stone that he was supporting Hillary Clinton, whom he called the "safe, correct choice," in the election. "Trump is just a sideshow," he said. "I'm not even going to apologize to all the Trump followers. I think the reason he's so popular is because he's like the politics version of WWE. He's sensational like wrestling and that's why middle America loves him." He went on to call Trump "the biggest liar I've ever seen in politics." "I mean, most of them are liars, but he just outright in-your-face lies," the guitarist said.
Slayer will be able to test their politics on the road this year when they hit up South America and Europe this spring before heading back to the U.S. this summer, supporting their 2015 album, Repentless, for appearances at several festivals.