Deleted Post Appears to Show Iced Earth Singer Celebrate U.S. Capitol Riot [Update]
UPDATE: Stu Block has issued another statement on social media, clarifying the deleted post in question and his stance surrounding the unrest at the Capitol. See it near the bottom of this page.
Iced Earth fans learned last week that founding guitarist Jon Schaffer participated in the deadly riots that occurred during the Jan. 6 storming of the United States Capitol after the FBI broadcast a photo of the musician at the uprising. Now, it appears that Iced Earth vocalist Stu Block initially showed support for the violent attack before issuing a statement condemning the unrest.
In an announcement on Jan. 9 posted on his socials but attributed to the entire group, Block said the heavy metal band "absolutely DO NOT condone nor do we support riots or the acts of violence that the rioters were involved in on January 6th at the US Capitol building. We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated." Iced Earth bassist Luke Appleton shared the same statement.
But as MetalSucks pointed out, a previous message from Block, a Canadian citizen, indicated he was pleased with the pro-Trump revolt. The singer later deleted the post — a screenshot is available below.
"Oh it's happening!" Block said on Facebook the day of the terrorizing demonstration in Washington, D.C. "History in the making. Sending love to my friends in the US and all over the world!"
When a follower asked if he was "condemning what happened," Block responded, "And where in my statement would you get that impression?"
Despite the singer's subsequent removal of the message, some fans are sharing screenshots of the original post elsewhere on Block's Facebook page. A few have appeared underneath the Jan. 9 statement from the group on the social media platform. But Block has been deleting those responses and reportedly banning those who bring up his seemingly pro-Trump message from the riot's outset.
At another point last week, when pressed for comment on Schaffer's involvement, Block sidestepped the issue and remarked, "I live in Canada and do not really engage in political stuff or share my beliefs. I have chosen to spread love and not comment or allow any hate."
Not long after Schaffer's photo surfaced amongst the images from the riot, it was revealed that the musician was a "person of interest in unrest-related offenses" in a photo shared by D.C. police.
Schaffer also appeared on the FBI website's "Most Wanted." An image of the guitarist was included under the "Seeking Information" section, not to be confused with the "Top 10 Most Wanted."
Protesters at the Capitol aimed to overturn Donald Trump's loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election by disrupting the electoral college vote count during what's usually an uneventful joint session of Congress. Five people died, according to CNN, as a result of the mob's actions.
UPDATE: Statement From Stu Block
First I want to thank everyone for the amazing support you have shown. Unfortunately It has come to my attention in recent days about a screenshot someone made. There were some very obsessive hateful people posting the screenshot that I did have to remove from my social media. I do want to extend my apologies for the poor way I worded two Facebook posts on January the 6th. I’m human and I make mistakes. My wording was absolutely misunderstood and not properly thought out on my part and I know people and media can interpret things differently. At that moment I saw a historical thing happening that perhaps would cause divide amongst people everywhere so I sent love out to everyone as well. I quickly took the post down after I realized that the post I put up with good intentions to encourage discussion about what was happening at that moment was severely misinterpreted by some. This was all happening before I found out about the horrible line that was crossed that day by protesters. I also carelessly misread a comment someone posted on my official Facebook page and replied incorrectly and for that I am sorry. I was in the heat of the moment. In the post, the commenter said: “Are you condemning what happened today Stu?” I replied: “and where in my statement would you get that impression?” In the craziness of responding to so many comments, some very hateful in nature which were also coming at me in rapid fire, I read the word as “condoning” which I DO NOT!! I see that this inaccurate misinterpreted screenshot has been shared on various social media pages and I want to go on record to say this AGAIN:
I absolutely DO NOT condone nor do I support ANY acts of violence or anything else that ANY protester or rioter was involved in on January 6th at the US Capitol building.
If you follow me, you know I am generally a man of Peace, Kitties and Music. I do believe in peaceful protest and expressing your grievances , I believe in questioning authority when it’s appropriate, but I also believe that it should be done in a peaceful, respectful and intellectual manner and within the confines of the law. Again I apologize for any confusion. That’s it that’s all. I have been and will be taking a social media break and this is the only time I will ever address this inaccurate misinterpreted screenshot. Much Love and Stay Strong. ❤️
Stu Block ❤️