herald

Friday 22 August 2014

'Don't kill Herald critic', The Wanted tell fans

BOYBAND The Wanted have distanced themselves from threats of violence issued by a small number of their fans against Herald music reviewer Chris Wasser.

The group, which includes Dublin singer Siva Kaneswaran, have just cracked America and are expected to soar to meteoric levels of fame.

However, our reviewer Chris Wasser thought that their performance in the O2 was lacklustre and wrote that he was unimpressed by the group.

Within hours, the fanatical teenagers took to firing abusive and disgusting messages at Chris online.

And most worryingly, some of the more extreme followers even threatened to kill him.

Within a few hours, the collective rant was trending worldwide on Twitter -- littered with expletives and vile language. The insults continued for 24 hours as fans around the world picked up on the trend.

Chris said that he was stunned at the level of insults, particularly because it was from such a young audience.

"Some of them tweeted disgusting insults about my appearance based on my Twitter profile picture," he told the Herald.

"It doesn't matter that I gave these kids' favourite band a bad review -- some of them actually said that they'd kill me. And that's disturbing."

A spokesman said that they were "saddened" to hear about the vicious confrontation online.

He said that they would never "condone any threats of violence or aggression" and urged their followers to be cautious about what they say to others online.

The representative said that they appreciated the dedication from their fans, but would not be associated with disgusting threats.

"The Wanted fans are incredibly passionate about the band and their success but in no way do The Wanted condone any threats of violence or aggression," he told the Herald.

Chris said that he acknowledged the protests from fans who felt strongly about their favourite band -- but he didn't respond to them.

The journalist said it appeared as if the young followers did not realise that music reviews were meant to be subjective.

"More often than not, they just called me names and urged me to quit my job and disappear off the face of the earth. Again, most of these tweeters were only kids. Yet, no matter how funny the entire ordeal is, it's also very disturbing."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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