Anty Horgan, frontman of Melbourne ska-punk band The Bennies, has offered an apology after performing at an anti-vaccine mandate protest over the weekend.
As first reported by Blunt Magazine, Horgan attended and performed at the Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccination rally on the Gold Coast on Saturday, November 27th.
He performed ahead of One Nation senator Pauline Hanson at the event over the weekend, which also had speeches from One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts, small business owners, and healthcare workers.
After news of his appearance spread, Horgan, who incidentally is fully vaccinated himself, released a statement on social media explaining that he attended to rally “to see what people had to say about it.” Whilst condemning racist ideology spread by Pauline Hanson and the One Nation Party.
Now, Horgan has taken to social media again to offer a further apology for his appearance at the rally. “In the last 48 hours I have spent a lot of time thinking about my actions and the mistakes I have made. I have spoken with some of the people that called me out and I appreciate their time and energy,” he wrote on a notes app that was shared on the official Instagram account for The Bennies.
“I performed at a rally that was strongly associated with racists and the right wing and I was ignorant to that fact. My privilege meant I didn’t bother to check and when I did realise I just went with the flow rather than cause a scene.”
He continued: “Given a chance I would do things differently. I have learned that I have a responsibility to my community to look into what I’m doing and stand up for what is right and I’m saddened at myself for needing something like this to happen to be able to do so.
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Horgan explained why he turned off the comments section for his posts. “The comments that came after were really hurtful to others in our community so I disabled the comments (and will on this post),” he said. “I didn’t want people to get hurt. I reached out privately to people involved and asked them to stop abusing people in my defence, and I am now publicly stating I don’t condone abuse or violence in any way.”
He also revealed that he’s left his Queensland job due to what’s happened over the past few days. “This morning I have quit my job at The Henchman, because I know I have a responsibility to take a stand on abuse,” he added. “I can’t take back what I have done but I can say, thank you to Nadine Chemali who has given lots of time to chat with me about my actions in a clear, calm and patient manner.
Horgan concluded by emphasising that his actions weren’t a “reflection of The Bennies,” insisting they had “nothing to do with this.”