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During the band’s set at the Isle of Wight Festival over the weekend, Wilson called out the names of different vaccine manufacturers: Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. He then asked the crowd to cheer for each, depending on which they had received.
Wilson then said: “Let’s hear it for the anti-vaxxers,” to which the crowd responded with loud booing.
Footage of the moment was shared widely on social media with many people condemning Wilson for his comments.
The “Ruby” singer was met with a barrage of criticism with some accusing the band of being a “cult” and “stoking division”.
TV personality Gillian McKeith hit out at Wilson, stating: “How much was he paid to become a drug baron? Pushing segregation and encouraging bullying.”
Wilson has since responded to the backlash on Twitter, writing: “I thought the virus was frightening, but the dedicated velocity of the ‘Vaccine Risk Aware’ community is swift, personal, harsh, expletive ridden and effective.”
The 43-year-old added: “They win fair and square. Twitter is yours,” suggesting that the singer may be taking a break from the social media platform.
Others, however, have commended Wilson for speaking out in favour of the vaccine.
I thought that the virus was frightening, but the dedicated velocity of the ‘Vaccine Risk Aware’ community is swift, personal, harsh, expletive ridden and effective.
They win fair and square. Twitter is yours.
— Ricky Wilson (@Rickontour) September 20, 2021
“Love seeing the Anti-Vax brigade getting their knickers in a twist because they thought the Kaiser Chiefs were brainwashing the folk at their concert,” wrote one person on Twitter.
At the Emmy Awards on Sunday (19 September), the ceremony’s host, Cedric the Entertainer, made light of Nicki Minaj’s recent tweets concerning the Covid-19 vaccine.
The “Super Bass” rapper had tweeted about her cousin’s friend in Trinidad, who allegedly experienced swollen testicles after receiving the vaccine.
“I got vaxxed,” Cedric revealed, adding: “I did not have a reaction like Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend, okay?”
Health officials in Trinidad have since confirmed there is no truth to the “Super Bass” singer’s claims.
Impotence is not listed as a potential side-effect by the NHS or the US’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention websites, and there is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine causes fertility problems.
Some critics have accused Minaj of using the post as a way of distracting from her husband’s ongoing legal issues.