To paraphrase a famous saying, nothing is certain but death, taxes, and the fact that Gene Simmons is sexist. The aging KISS bassist, now banned from Fox News for life, built his reputation on songs like “Love Gun” and “Lick it Up” and once told NPR’s Terry Gross to spread her legs for him. However, after his appearance last week on Fox to plug his book, he apparently, per an unnamed Fox employee, walked into a production meeting unannounced, and according to The Daily Beast, things got weird:
“Hey chicks, sue me!” he shouted, and then pulled open his red velvet shirt to reveal his chest and belly, according to the source. Then he starting telling Michael Jackson pedophilia jokes, and then bopped two employees on the head with his book, making derisive comments about their comparative intelligence according to the sound their heads made when struck.
And while that’s certainly cringeworthy, he’s since issued a statement apologizing to Fox, while also claiming that the report was exaggerated:
“I have appeared frequently over the years on various Fox News and Fox Business programs and have a tremendous amount of respect for the talented women and men who work there. While I believe that what is being reported is highly exaggerated and misleading, I am sincerely sorry that I unintentionally offended members of the Fox team during my visit.”
To many people, especially any longtime followers of KISS, they’d probably chalk that up to Gene Simmons being Gene Simmons. The guy has a photo album of naked pictures of groupies, and bragged about sleeping with almost 5,000 women (and that was a decade ago). Yet the #metoo movement is leading to a reckoning that’s even found Charlie Rose apologizing for sexual harassment, and two women (so far) have accused the bassist of sexual harassment. Actress Mary McGlynn
— Mary E. McGlynn (@MaryEMcGlynn) November 18, 2017
As her tweet started to gain traction, a comic book artist said that she too had been harassed by Simmons:
I believe you. I met him at SDCC in 2004 when he was brought by the Heavy Metal booth. He hugged me and then told me I was keeping the candy away from him (hugging with just my upper body) He grabbed my hips and thrust against me. I’m so sorry this happened to you.
— Tess Fowler (@TessFowler) November 18, 2017
Both of those stories are inappropriate, but given that Simmons has been celebrated for the same things he’s now being condemned for suggests that he’s not doing a very good job of adapting with the times. Also, the fact that McGlynn’s incident took place after he was banned from Fox pretty much disqualifies him from the “it was a different time” excuse. And if you think that there are only two women that Gene Simmons behaved inappropriately towards, he’s got some air to sell you.
[via Metal Injection]