Thursday 04/06/2020 - 06:38 pm

Rod Stewart apologizes for desert beheading video after ISIS comparisons

2017.03.04 05:19

Rod Stewart apologized Friday after a video surfaced in which the singer appeared to stage an Islamic State-inspired execution.

The brief snippet was recorded atop a sand dune near Abu Dhabi recently and shows Mr. Stewart, 72, miming the beheading of one of his bandmates.

Penny Lancaster, the rock star’s wife, uploaded the 15-second video to Instagram this week and instantly incurred a backlash from individuals who thought the singer was glorifying the terror group, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

Though since deleted from his wife’s Instagram, archived versions of the video show Mr. Stewart forcing a man to his knees and then making a slicing motion across the man’s neck, provoking comparisons to executions carried out by Islamic State and produced as propaganda.

According to Mr. Stewart, the video was an homage to pop culture, not terrorists. The “Maggie May” singer issued a statement amid the ensuing firestorm Friday that described the stunt as a misunderstood attempt at emulating a famous album cover and one of television’s most popular programs.

“From re-enacting the Beatles’ Abbey Road crossing to spontaneously playing out Game of Thrones, we were simply larking about pre-show,” Mr. Stewart said. “Understandably, this has been misinterpreted and I send my deepest apologies to those who have been offended.”

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