Journalist and protester Louis Fowler holds a sign at Pink Pony's controversial Norman Music Festival performance.

Does He Realize? Protesters Not Satisfied With Wayne Coyne's Apology

Wilhelm Murg

While the mainstream music press has reported that Coyne apologized for his actions, the protesters who were publically humiliated at festival feel the “apology” was empty.

In one part of the interview Coyne seems to not address offending Native Americans specifically and recommends that anyone who was offended should simply not follow him or his band.  “I would say that I'm very sorry, to anybody that is following my Instagram or my Twitter, if I offended anybody of any religion, any race, any belief system. I would say you shouldn't follow my tweets; you shouldn't even probably want to be a Flaming Lips fan because we don't really have any agenda. We go about doing things through our imagination. And I would say that if we wrongly stepped on anybody's sacredness, then we're sorry about that. That was never our intention.”

However he later says he is sorry.  “I understand now that if I'm a spokesperson for any kind of behavior, I shouldn't have done it, and I regret doing it now. I am sorry. I realize now that it goes deeply to the heart of some Native Americans. And I definitely regret it. “

“If you use the word ‘if,’ you’re not apologizing; it’s as simple as that,” Fowler said of Coyne’s statements. “(Friday) on Wayne’s Twitter where he said Sean Lennon and Charlotte [Kemp-Muhl], who is in Lennon’s band, were playing Bricktown Saturday night, and he had a picture of Sean Lennon and the girl in an Indian headdress also.  So he’s not doubling down, it’s like he’s quadrupling down.”

Photo tweeted by Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp-Muhl tweeted by Lennon to Wayne Coyne. Source: via The Lost Ogle.

Like the earlier photos Coyne posted of two women and the “famous Instagram” bulldog Mayor B wearing a faux-headdress, Lennon's picture was deleted before the end of the day.

Samantha Crain is a well-known local musician who is also Choctaw.  Like a lot of people, Crain was upset by the headdress photo Fallin posted and she was shocked when the band posted "I heard pink pony was wearing full regalia tonight" on their facebook page before their performance at the Norman Music Festival.

“I didn't immediately read that and think ‘they are going to be wearing full Native American regalia’ but I did realize they were egging on the same people that were upset by the last photo,” Crain said.  “I was very clear that even if they were not wearing regalia I was still doing the protest because it wasn't so much a protest toward their actions, it was a protest towards their minds: minds that think it is alright to belittle how impassioned people feel when they are hurt by cultural appropriation.”

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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
As Daniel Snyder, Donald Sterling and Clive Bundy have proven - racists only care when it hurts their pocketbook. Lately it seems the only people using the sentence, "I am not a racist," are the racists themselves.

Mojo Hand's picture
Mojo Hand
Submitted by Mojo Hand on
First of all, Coyne is a jerk...this is the guy who interviewed Brian Wilson in 1999 for some HBO thing that never aired, and then he trashes Wilson afterwards about Wilson's own personal demons and mental issues. Wow, talk about a lack of compassion! Even if you didn't get much out of the guy, and Wilson may have been kind of incoherent too, why not just offer some respect to the guy and not say anything about it afterwards?.....and second, this is is what white privilege is all about, being content in ignorance and dismissive of a minority group's complaints and not having to confront institutional racism and seeing the effects it has had on marginalized minority groups. Must be nice to throw your elbows around and not care who you hit......This could have been a huge personal growth moment for all of them, to enter into a real and honest dialog with Native Americans but they initially chose to shrug it off.... and enough of the "if i offended anyone" nonsense, just say, "I'm sorry for having offended some people".

hesutu's picture
Submitted by hesutu on
After all this, are they still wearing headdresses? Is the photo on the second page of the article a recent one? I am not sure if this is even a headdress or something else, it seems to have legs on it, perhaps of a coyote? Is it a coyote skin with a head band? I haven't seen this sort of headdress before. I don't want to say anything inappropriate in case this is a traditional head dress of some nation which I just haven't seen before, but it seems rather odd looking and strange to have a whole coyote skin on the head with the legs dangling down like that.

Terry James's picture
Terry James
Submitted by Terry James on
Coyne's picture of 3 people and a dog included his girlfriend, a roadie, a dog, and a pop singer named Sarah Barthel of the group Phantogram. She apparently was unaware of the Fallin controversy in Oklahoma at the time the photo was taken. On May 12th she posted this on Facebook: A few weeks ago, a photograph of me wearing a Native American headdress was posted on the internet. While in no way was this picture meant to harm or disrespect the Native American community or culture, I realize now the gravity of its unintended consequences. I've learned a lot about issues around cultural appropriation in the past few weeks, and hope my mistake can shed light on the subject so others can also learn from it. I sincerely apologize to anyone I've offended – obviously, it won’t happen again. Sending love to all of you, -Sarah Seems that Wayne Coyne could have simply done something similar instead of his strange interview in Rolling Stone.