Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Has Publishing Deal Scrapped Over Israel Comments: Report

Pablo Porciuncula/AFP via Getty Imgaes
Pablo Porciuncula/AFP via Getty Imgaes

A powerhouse music rights label is preparing to sever its ties to Roger Waters as a direct result of the legendary British rocker’s inflammatory comments about Israel and Ukraine, sources familiar with the matter told Variety on Tuesday. The Berlin-based BMG, a firm that acts as both a music publisher and record label, first inked a publishing deal with Waters in 2016. But that deal is being scrapped in the wake of Waters’ vocal criticism of Israel, which some—including ex-bandmate David Gilmour—have characterized as antisemitic. (Waters has also called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “not unprovoked” and said that reports of Russian war crimes there are nothing but “lies, lies, lies.”) The company’s new CEO, Thomas Coesfeld, is reportedly behind the move, which comes after the executive personally mothballed plans to release a newly recorded version of the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon last year. According to Variety, Waters first mentioned being “fired” by BMG in an interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald last November, claiming that the split was the result of powerful pro-Israeli individuals leaning on BMG’s parent company. A company source disputed this version of events to Variety, but a spokesperson declined to comment on the report of Rogers being dropped.

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