Five Finger Death Punch were one of the headlining bands at last month’s sold-out Fort Rock Festival in Fort Myers, FL. During the song “Burn MF,” Ivan Moody brought 9 year-old Olivia Douglas onstage as he sang the touching, thought-provoking chorus “burn motherf*ker burn motherf*cker burn.” Her father, Mark Douglas, videotaped the exchange from side stage, and while Moody and the crowd sang the words, the younger Johnson didn’t, instead looking somewhat bemused. And of story, right? WRONG. Florida TV station WINK got ahold of the footage and did an ‘investigation’ on the goings-on.
“It’s a form of abuse,” Fort Myers attorney Miguel Fernandez said. “This child is being used as a prop.” the report also found lee County Sheriff Mike Scott, who also said he was disgusted. However, Olivia’s father says that he’s very close with his daughter:
“She goes to a church every Thursday and takes piano lessons,” said Mark. “She’s a normal kid…just loves metal. It’s in my blood. Evidently it’ll drip down into her blood.”
Promoter Danny Wimmer also defended the Douglas family, stating “While we may not always personally agreee with the actions of particular artists performing at our festivals, we support free speech and artistic integrity.”
Really, at the end of the day, it’s up to Douglas how he raises his daughter. She knows enough not to curse, and while it might not be the most responsible thing for Moody to perform “Burn MF” with a child as opposed to one of their other songs, it doesn’t seem like anyone that was in attendance was warped immeasurably by it. It’s a little jarring to see taken out of context, but Olivia looks like she’s having more fun than she is not, and if it’s a bonding moment for father and daughter, like father certainly seems to think it is, at least he’s there for her. However, even some musicians, including Tim “Ripper” Owens, are just as outraged, so the controversy doesn’t seem like it’s dying down anytime soon.