NewsJune 3, 2020 9:10 AM ET69,409 views

Norma Jean singer trashed by peers for social media post

Over the weekend, Norma Jean frontman Cory Brandan posted an image to social media that was largely interpreted as a derisive response to the Black Lives Matter movement (refer to this gif) and the civil unrest resulting from the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Among those who took notice was Every Time I Die bassist Stephen Micciche: Shortly thereafter, Stick To Your Guns vocalist Jesse Barnett offered a more direct assessment: STYG's Josh James echoed his bandmate's sentiment: Ex-Beartooth guitarist Taylor Lumley also weighed in: Prior to the public shaming from his peers, Brandan deleted the image after feedback from some of his followers and offered this explanation: Not surprisingly, Brandan's explanation and apology failed to appease both James and Micciche: For his part, Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley says that his band will never appear on the same bill as Norma Jean again: UPDATE: Cory Brandan has now issued the following statement via Facebook:
Monday, in frustration about infighting I was reading between groups with the same goal, I posted a gif without considering its context. A friend let me know the next day that it was similar to a BLM graphic, hurting supporters of the movement, so I deleted it. But the damage was done. I had been up late following conversations about black out Tuesday. I saw creators and supporters extremely divided in approach and was calling it a night. I flippantly searched "blah" and I saw the scrolling gif looking like the credits at the end of a movie. That gif inspired my text "roll credits," to say "goodnight, I'm out". My ignorance to the gif's reference is obvious to me now, though it wasn't my intention. Later that night, I retweeted a post from a supporter who was posting their frustration with the black out Tuesday squares driving information off the Black Lives Matter feeds. This was all before the shit hit the fan on Tuesday with the screenshot of that gif post. I know I should have shown my empathy rather than posting gifs and retweets. Let me be clear though, Black Lives Matter. I realize that there's no going back for some people I upset and there's no amount of explaining that will undo their hurt, but please know that I would never have posted that gif if I knew what it was being used for. I, and many others in this country, have a lot to learn. I hope more will commit to that, too. I understand how it looks in the rear view, but the original graphics that gif referenced were beneath my radar. That is my fault, too. I own my responsibility to be more informed. I'm sorry to our fans who are questioning our message and our music. I'm especially sorry to our Black fans who are hurting right now and must think something terrible of me. You deserve better from me. I'm so sorry. I'll be taking a break from my social accounts to take time to listen and educate myself. I've had difficult conversations about how deeply I hurt people I love. My intent was to comment on internet drama, not to disparage black voices and a movement that is important. I understand how my shit-talking attitude, sarcasm, and the way I present myself online made it easy for people believe it was an act of aggression and not an ill-informed misstep. That's on me, too. I take responsibility for all of it. I respect the scene and I just ask that the other guys involved with Norma Jean and Hundred Suns would not have to suffer for my mistake. They are still posting in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as they have been all week. They are vocal supporters and this should not reflect on them at all. No one else should have to bear the weight of my actions or the responsibility of educating me. All of that is on me alone. I'm sorry. I don't expect your forgiveness, but I will be better, because you deserve better.

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