The Killers have issued an apology for comments lead singer Brandon Flowers made during a Tuesday night concert in Batumi, Georgia — that’s the country of Georgia, not the state.
As Billboard reports, usually, the band invites a fan onstage to play drums on their song “For Reasons Unknown.” Unfortunately, the fan they called up on Tuesday night was Russian, and that was a mistake.
In several fan-captured videos, Flowers told the crowd, “We don’t know the etiquette of this land but this guy’s a Russian. You O.K. with a Russian coming up here?” The crowd started booing because following an invasion in 2008, Russia still occupies 20% of Georgia.
The fans got even more upset — with some walking out — after Flowers urged them to see across borders.
“You can’t recognize that someone’s your brother? He’s not your brother? … I’m not your brother? Am I not your brother being from America?” he asked. “One of the things we appreciate about being in this band is it brings people together. And tonight I want to celebrate that we’re here together. And I don’t want it to turn ugly. And I see you as my brothers and my sisters.”
After the show, The Killers posted an apology, explaining that they didn’t mean to offend anyone and claiming that “the initial response from the crowd indicated that they were okay with tonight’s audience participation member coming onstage with us.”
The apology continued, “We recognize that a comment, meant to suggest that all of The Killers’ audience and fans are ‘brothers and sisters,’ could be misconstrued. We did not mean to upset anyone and we apologize. We stand with you and hope to return soon.”
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