British rapper Slowthai made a stir at the Mercury Prize ceremony Thursday with a political stunt during his performance. After belting out his song "Doorman," the 24-year-old from Northampton held up a "decapitated" head of Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Sky News reports that when Slowthai grabbed the fake head from the floor he shouted, "F*** Boris Johnson. F*** everything." When the musician left the stage he was apparently met with huge cheers from the audience. After the stunt, host Lauren Laverne said, "Slowthai, with his own views there." The rapper also promoted "F*** BORIS" T-shirts on Twitter — similar to the one he wore on stage.
Although he received cheers, many were equally outraged about the prop on social media. On Friday, Slowthai issued a statement defending his actions.
"Last night I held a mirror up to this country and some people don't like the reflection," it began. "The people in power who are trying to isolate and divide us aren't the ones who will feel its effects the hardest. ... We as a people are not being looked after and our best interests are not being served by those in government — this is their job and they're not doing it well enough. This 'act' was a metaphor for what this government is doing to our country, except what I did was present it in plain sight.”
He concluded, "No Boris Johnson's were hurt in the making of this slowthai performance. I don't condone violence in any form."
Kathy Griffin, who knows a thing or two about political stunts involving decapitated mannequins, has yet to weigh in.
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