Marilyn Manson Defends Fake On-Stage Assault As ‘Act Of Theater’

Turns out Marilyn Manson isn’t sorry for offending anyone with his latest attempt at shocking stage behavior. The rocker has released a statement defending himself for pointing a fake assault rifle, which he used as a microphone, at the audience during Sunday’s concert in San Bernardino, Calif.

Marilyn Manson
Scott Legato /
– Marilyn Manson
DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, Mich., Aug. 5, 2015

Although Manson being shocking or offensive is basically his shtick, the stage antic was seen by many as crossing the line, especially because the concert at Glen Helen Amphitheatre took place hours after a gunman killed more than two dozen people in Texas.

The city of San Bernardino was itself the location of a mass shooting a few years ago when two terrorists killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center for developmentally disabled people.

Plus, Manson using his fake-gun / mic stand as a stage prop is just a bit much after the recent massacres at concerts such as the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas and the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Here’s what Manson had to say, in a statement released to Variety:            

“In an era where mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence this was an act of theater in an attempt to make a statement about how easily accessible semi-automatic weapons are and how seeing them has become normalized. My art has always been a reaction to popular culture and my way to make people think about the horrible things that happen in this world. My performance was not meant to be disrespectful or show any insensitivity. The prop microphone I used on stage was handed to me with the approval of a police officer. My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of REAL guns.”

Perhaps Manson is making a statement or maybe he’s just trying – and succeeding – at getting his name in the headlines again.

The most recent box report submitted to Pollstar for Manson was his Sept. 29 gig at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, in which he played to 3,969 fans (88 percent capacity), bringing in $189,328 gross.

Pollstar reached out to the Glen Helen Amphitheatre for comment but hadn’t heard back at press time.