Roger Waters Responds to Pink Floyd Lyricist Calling Him an Antisemitic Putin Apologist

David Gilmour said wife Polly Samson's public criticisms of his former Pink Floyd bandmate were all "demonstrably true"

Photo: Chris Bubinas

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Feb 7, 2023

Last fall, Roger Waters's shows in Poland were cancelled over the musician's stance on Ukraine, after which he claimed to be on a "kill list supported by the Ukrainian government" in an interview with Rolling Stone.

The longtime critic of Israel now has some of his former Pink Floyd collaborators taking aim at his politics — namely, the band's co-lead vocalist/guitarist David Gilmour and his wife, writer Polly Samson, who helped pen several of their songs following Waters's departure in 1985.

Waters recently posted a translation of an interview he did with German newspaper Berliner Zeitung on his website. The conversation saw him address Pink Floyd joining forces with Ukrainian musician Andriy Khlyvnyuk for benefit single "Hey, Hey, Rise Up!"

Waters told the publication, "I have seen the video, and I am not surprised, but I find it really, really sad. It's so alien to me, this action is so lacking in humanity. It encourages the continuation of the war."

"Pink Floyd is a name I used to be associated with," he continued. "That was a huge time in my life, a very big deal. To associate that name now with something like this… proxy war makes me sad. I mean, they haven't made the point of demanding, 'Stop the war, stop the slaughter, bring our leaders together to talk!' It's just this content-less waving of the blue and yellow flag. I wrote in one of my letters to the Ukrainian teenager Alina: I will not raise a flag in this conflict, not a Ukrainian flag, not a Russian flag, not a US flag."

Yesterday (February 6), Samson took to Twitter, seemingly responding to Waters' comments. "Sadly @rogerwaters you are antisemitic to your rotten core," she wrote. "Also a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac. Enough of your nonsense."

Gilmour chimed in, retweeting his spouse's criticism and adding, "Every word demonstrably true." He also liked a bunch of tweets criticizing his former bandmate.
Of course, Waters and Gilmour have long been at odds — in 2020, the former accused the latter of "banning" him from the Pink Floyd website.

Waters responded to Samson's remarks by posting a statement, which reads: "Roger Waters is aware of the incendiary and wildly inaccurate comments made about him on Twitter by Polly Samson which he refutes entirely. He is currently taking advice as to his position."
When he left Pink Floyd, Waters mounted a legal battle to thwart Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason's use of the band name in his absence. He lost and Gilmour led the band to release A Momentary Lapse of Reason in 1987 and tour stadiums well into the '90s. Aside from the charity single, their most recent release remains 2014's The Endless River.

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