Responding to the backlash over photos of him wearing Indigenous garments in the past, the rock band’s vocalist acknowledges ‘the harm that ignorance can have on marginalized communities.’
AceShowbiz –Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet has spoken up after he’s accused of appropriating Indigenous culture in the past. The singer landed in hot water after his old photos, in which he and friends dressed in Indigenous garments in 2017, resurfaced online.
Addressing the backlash, Josh unleashed a statement via Instagram on Monday, April 18 in which he acknowledged his mistake. “To our indigenous fans,” he began in the note. “I see you. I’ve taken time to listen and gather my thoughts.”
He explained himself, “My appreciation for indigenous culture is bigger than myself. I recognize the harm that ignorance can have on marginalized communities, something I’d never want to perpetuate. Hate, disrespect and prejudice of any kind are not welcome in this community. As I’ve come into adulthood, I’ve been able to grow and learn. This growth has not stopped and will not stop here.”
Showing his appreciation to Indigenous culture, Josh revealed he has made a donation to support the communities. “The Chippewa tribe has had a particularly profound impact on my life having been exposed to their ceremonies and customs during my early years growing up in Michigan,” so he claimed. “I have made a charitable donation [to] the First Nations Development Institute to help keep indigenous traditions like theirs alive and well.”
He also urged his fans and followers to follow in his footsteps as writing, “Should you want to support with me, please visit firstnations.org.” He then concluded his statement with, “Peace, Love, Unity & Equality. Always. Josh.”
Josh was previously called out after photos of himself and friends donning copies of sacred Indigenous wear were deemed insensitive. People tried to get his attention with hashtag campaign using #SpeakUpGVF.
“Indigenous fans and those practicing allyship have tried to contact Josh and ask him to remove the photos and address the cultural appropriation, but he continues to stay silent and the photos continue to stay up,” read the mission statement of the campaign. “Remaining silent on this is upsetting and is ignorant as it upholds racist ideologies that Indigenous cultures are simply a costume, when they are sacred, and not open for appropriation.”
Following Josh’s apology, fans showed their support to him. “We know you never meant any harm. We love and APPRECIATE you, Josh,” one followers responded to his statement. Another commented on the post, “very proud of being your fan right now.” A third added, “we love you josh thank you for speaking up.”
Some others, meanwhile, were surprised at how easily the fans forgave Josh. “What’s genuinely shocking to me is the fans are genuinely giving this man the opportunity to come forward and apologize and delete posts. most fan bases would cancel in a f**king heartbeat??? like imagine having the opportunity to fix your wrongs and just…. not?????” one person tweeted.
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