Kid Rock has been removed from his duties as Grand Marshal of Nashville’s 2018 Christmas Parade, following backlash over comments he made during a television appearance on Friday morning. Replacing him in the honorary position is James Shaw Jr., better known as the Waffle House hero for his effort to thwart a mass shooting in Nashville in April.
The move comes after Kid Rock made an appearance on Fox & Friends, which was shooting on location in downtown Nashville at Kid Rock’s newly opened Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse.
Kid Rock live on Fox & Friends: 'Screw that Joy Behar bitch' pic.twitter.com/N2fYLqm4vL
— Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) November 30, 2018
After taking a swig of whiskey and giving an impassioned plea to host Steve Doocy about the need for people to come together and have calm, civil discourse, Kid Rock couldn’t leave well enough alone. “I would say, love everybody. . . except screw that Joy Behar bitch,” he said, forcing a flustered Doocy to repeatedly apologize for the artist’s language. Kid Rock quickly noted that he was joking, but stopped short of asking forgiveness. “I apologize for the language, not the sentiment,” he said.
Behar was quick to fire back during today’s episode of The View: “This bitch and these bitches will be happy to have you on the show and have a beer,” she said.
.@JoyVBehar responds to Kid Rock's comments about her said on Fox News this morning: “This bitch and these bitches will be happy to have you on the show and have a beer." https://t.co/f8u2wc159S pic.twitter.com/UuKDTWryGK
— The View (@TheView) November 30, 2018
Later in the day, Kid Rock issued his own statement on Facebook, noting that Behar had criticized him along with Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin for visiting Donald Trump at the White House in 2017. “Mess with the bull, you get the horns. End of story,” he wrote. “I apologized for cursing on live tv, I will not for my sentiment nor do I expect an apology from her or anyone else who has choice words for me or doesn’t like me.”
Problems began to escalate for Kid Rock when city councilman Freddie O’Connell tweeted that he wouldn’t be participating in the parade because the choice of Grand Marshal “evokes neither the spirit of Christmas nor the inclusivity I think represents the best of Nashville.” Nashville Mayor David Briley also noted that he was considering sitting out the event.
“If Kid Rock is still the grand marshal tomorrow, the mayor is inclined not to participate,” Briley spokesman Thomas Mulgrew told Nashville’s WSMV.
Parade organizers – which included Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Piedmont Natural Gas and Tennessee Holiday Productions – eventually issued a statement that Kid Rock would be replaced as Grand Marshal by Shaw, who tweeted about getting some exciting news early in the afternoon.
Shaw became a local hero in April, when he charged at a gunman who had entered a Waffle House and started shooting. “I was just trying to live,” Shaw told the New York Times about tackling shooter Travis Reinking as he reloaded.
Complicating parade matters further is Steve Smith, owner of Nashville honky tonk Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and partner in Kid Rock’s bar. Smith is a co-sponsor of the parade through his various downtown entertainment properties, including Rippy’s and the Diner. He remained steadfast that Kid Rock would still be serving as the parade’s Grand Marshal.
“If the city wants to refund me my quarter of a million, they can run the parade,” Smith told reporters. “He will be in the parade tomorrow and will be the Grand Marshal.” Later on, Smith backed off slightly, saying that Kid Rock would still be participating in the parade.
Kid Rock has been no stranger to controversy in recent years. In 2016, he expressed his feelings about NFL players’ protests during the national anthem, saying, “Man, fuck Colin Kaepernick” at one of his concerts. The avowed Donald Trump supporter also teased a senate run in his home state of Michigan as a way to gin up publicity for his latest album, Sweet Southern Sugar. Over the weekend, the FEC dismissed complaints about Kid Rock’s political fakeout, saying he didn’t appear to have “taken even the most basic steps to become a candidate.”
The 2018 Nashville Christmas Parade is scheduled to take place on Saturday (December 1st) at 8:30 a.m. CT.