Hanson brother Zac Hanson has admitted that a Pinterest account filled with racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, pro-gun memes was his.
In what may well be the most 2020 story of 2020, Zac Hanson (yes, of “MMMBop” Hanson) has admitted to sharing memes suggesting any “man wanting to dress like a woman” must have a mental illness, and that non-gun supporters are gay.
Also among the posts on the now-deleted Pinterest account was one in support of George Zimmerman, who escaped murder charges after shooting dead Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Black man, and one comparing the right to use an air rifle to Rosa Parks’ right to ride the bus.
Hanson admitted to fans he was behind the account some months ago, but it has only now emerged thanks to a Vice investigation into a fan “munity” over the band’s lukewarm support for Black Lives Matter, among other issues.
A screenshot appears to show Hanson using an Instagram comment to defend a post which read: “An 18-year-old is too young to buy a gun. But a five-year-old is old enough to decide its own gender,” saying it was “not about transgender, it is about rights”.
The screenshot appears to show him also standing by a post suggesting men who feel uncomfortable around guns must be gay, saying: “It’s a joke… maybe it’s bad taste, a lot of comedy is.”
In a statement to Vice, Hanson wrote: “The leaked Pinterest page provided a distorted view of the issues surrounding race and social justice, which do not reflect my personal beliefs. I apologise for the hurt my actions caused.”
Hanson brothers ‘ducked and dived’ to not say Black Lives Matter.
As well as the now-deleted Pinterest account, fans have also voiced discomfort over the Hanson brothers’ reluctance to say the words Black Lives Matter in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the global protests that ensued.
After days of silence, the brothers posted statement individually in early June – but did not use the words “Black Lives Matter”.
“We heard many express fear and hurt at the misuse of force by police, and we believe our officers should be held to the highest code of conduct – to ‘protect and serve’,” read a post on the official Hanson Instagram.
“We are inspired by the courageous actions of those seeking to challenge the status quo. We denounce all forms of racism and any actions which prevent us from achieving our highest ideals, that all are created equal.”
View this post on Instagram
This last week has rocked us to the core as we grapple with the tragic death of George Floyd, and the violence sweeping our country. We have stood in disbelief at the sound of hateful slurs and the sight of painful conflict, while finding solace in the peaceful marches and the heartfelt expressions of empathy and compassion. We heard many express fear and hurt at the misuse of force by police, and we believe our officers should be held to the highest code of conduct – to ‘protect and serve’. We are inspired by the courageous actions of those seeking to challenge the status quo. We denounce all forms of racism and any actions which prevent us from achieving our highest ideals, that all are created equal. As artists, we have always believed that our primary role is to make a better world through the messages in our music – light, love, hope, and respect for all people.
A post shared by HANSON (@hanson) on Jun 5, 2020 at 7:02pm PDT
Fans said the post equated to little more than “all lives matter”, with one telling Vice: “To have them duck and dive and do everything that they could possibly do to not say Black Lives Matter was really interesting. It was just weird.”
Hanson followed up four days later with a post which read: “We believe any form of racism is an injustice, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. There is no question that we believe that Black Lives Matter.”
In a statement to Vice, the band said: “We are so grateful to our incredible and diverse community of fans for their continued support and powerful connection with our music. We are proud to have people of so many different backgrounds as a part of the community who consider themselves Hanson fans.”