Music

Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold Points Out The Hypocrisy In Bon Iver’s Beyonce Comments

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Though Fleet Foxes are my favorite band, I probably would not have two news stories about them in a row if it wasn’t for a good reason — trust me, it is. Because, the second story involving Robin Pecknold’s Instagram today is not a follow-up to his sweet sweater gift gesture.

No, this one is a not-so-subtle response to a comment made by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver in his latest interview with The Guardian. For some reason Vernon decided to bring up Beyonce’s Pepsi deal, indicating that signing a $2 million sponsorship deal conflicts with Beyonce from being a role model for young girls. His thoughts:

“You can never be self-righteous, but it’s okay to be a little righteous. You have to believe in something. Like, I’d prefer Beyoncé didn’t do a Pepsi tour. Do not take two million dollars from Pepsi and be a role model for young girls. Do not do that. That stuff does anger me. And I feel like I am not afraid to talk about that stuff.”

Well hmm, that doesn’t seem to be like a conflict for me personally to see Beyonce as a role model, getting paper with gracious revenge. And as Robin Pecknold pointed out in a Instagram post, the comment is a little hypocritical considering Vernon did a huge ad with Bushmills back in 2011. (Some would even argue that repping alcohol is more “dangerous” for a role model to be repping than a sweet cola drink, but that’s a point of personal judgement, as is this one honestly.)

In a post that’s since been deleted, he posted an image of The Emperor’s New Clothes, which we all know is a well-established symbol for hypocrisy and blindness, and wrote: “Is a Pepsi and Bushmills a drink?” And later commented on his own post: “Calling it ‘The Patriarchy’.”

It’s worth noting that in an interview in 2015 with our own Steven Hyden at Grantland (RIP) Vernon said he later regretted doing that ad:

“To be clear: They gave us a bunch of money and we were able to finish [my recording studio] without borrowing. It was great for us, and everybody that worked at the company was great, and I love Bushmills and wanted to do the deal because my dad loved Bushmills — we bond over Irish whiskey. But the problem is that it isn’t just Bushmills. It’s run by a corporation, and you kind of forget that they’re not interested in you or really what you’re doing. They’re interested in your popularity and your reach, and it felt really sickening after a while. Not badmouthing Bushmills the company, but I regret it.”

But… you still did it. Okay I love the music all three of these musicians make so I’m going to focus on that, withhold my own opinions, and let the commenters hash this out.

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