Some festival-goers at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn., screamed and took cover during Eminem's headlining performance Saturday night when the rapper included what sounded like realistic gunshot effects during his performance of the 2000 single "Kill You." Now he is facing criticism for including the effects in an era where gun violence and mass shootings are regularly in the news.
"I hate to be the one to say it, but being someone who suffers from very mild PTSD, it was EXTREMELY irresponsible and distasteful to end songs w the shot gun sound effect," said actress and social media personality Andrea Russett in a since-deleted tweet. "I have grown up loving eminem and his music but i was extremely triggered to the point of tears....To hear a gun shot sound effect and see the entire crowd drop to the floor out of instinct is not funny, cute, or amusing. This is the sad reality that we are living."
Other people on social media chimed in in agreement, saying that the inclusion of the effects was particularly tone deaf after last year's mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
Other fans, some even calling out Russett directly, rushed to the rapper's defense, pointing out the historically violent nature of Eminem's lyrics along with the fact that the song has included the effect since 2001.
As the criticism built, a spokesperson for Eminem told Billboard magazine, "Contrary to inaccurate reports, Eminem does not use gunshot sound effects during his live show. The effect used by Eminem in his set at Bonnaroo was a pyrotechnic concussion which creates a loud boom. He has used this effect -- as have hundreds of other artists -- in his live show for over 10 years, including previous U.S. festival dates, without complaint."
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