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Hanson Facing Fan Backlash Over Black Lives Matter Response

Fans Demand More Progressive Politics From Hanson, Drummer Apologizes For Pinterest Account

Jonathan Weiner

Fans Demand More Progressive Politics From Hanson, Drummer Apologizes For Pinterest Account

Jonathan Weiner

Since their “MMMBop” days, Hanson have maintained a devoted cult following. That fan base is now reportedly in disarray thanks to the group’s tentative response to the Black Lives Matter movement and one member’s leaked Pinterest account.

As Vice reports, Hanson began facing intense fan pressure this past spring due to their silence on George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests. As their social accounts continued as if nothing was happening in the world, comments flooded in asking the brothers to comment on Floyd’s killing. When the brothers did weigh in on their personal Instagram accounts — with references to the Tulsa race massacre and the #8CantWait police reform campaign — some fans noted the omission of the phrase “Black lives matter” from the messages.

The same critique was levied at a post from the band account on June 5 that read as follows: “This last week has rocked us to the core as we grapple with the tragic death of George Floyd, and the violence sweeping our country. We have stood in disbelief at the sound of hateful slurs and the sight of painful conflict, while finding solace in the peaceful marches and the heartfelt expressions of empathy and compassion.” In a follow-up post on June 9 with comments disabled, the band wrote, “There is no question we believe that black lives matter.”

Vice interviewed several Black Hanson fans who felt alienated by the band’s seeming reluctance to use the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” One such fan said, “They went from being the princes of pop to the kings of being tone deaf.” Another wrote, “For me, to say Black lives matter should be as easy as saying the sky is blue because it’s a fact. Period. So, to have them duck and dive and do everything that they could possibly do to not say Black lives matter was really interesting. It was just weird.”

Things got a lot messier when someone leaked a now-deleted Pinterest account seemingly belonging to drummer Zac Hanson — the youngest of the brothers — filled with pro-gun memes, often racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic in nature. Zac has since confirmed that the account, which used the name Commanding Officer, belonged to him. Although he initially dismissed the memes as edgy jokes, he gave this statement to Vice: “The leaked Pinterest page provided a distorted view of the issues surrounding race and social justice, which do not reflect my personal beliefs. I apologize for the hurt my actions caused.”

In the wake of all this, someone started a “PostHanson” subreddit “for former and ambivalent Hanson fans to discuss and support each other” with well over 1,000 members.

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