KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons says that he is "on the side" of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was fined $2.5 million and banned for life after Sterling's racist remarks were made public.The publication of Sterling's taped racist comments privately imploring a woman friend not to associate with black people, sparked public outrage and embarrassed the National Basketball Association (NBA), which demanded the team be sold by September. While promoting the new AMC series "4th And Loud" about the KISS-branded Arena Football League team L.A. Kiss, Simmons was asked by The Wall Street Journal if he had followed the Sterling incident. "I'm on the side of Don Sterling," he replied. "I'm on Mel Gibson's side, Don Sterling's side and anybody who has a racist or an expletive rant privately. The difference between this guy, who's heinous, of course, or anybody else is that they were caught. "Everybody [says] jokes that are off-color, or when they're drunk. The difference between Sterling and everyone else is that he was caught on camera, by the way, without his approval. He was ambushed. I think he should have done penance and paid a fine. "Here's what's going to happen. They're going to go after Sterling and he's going to put a few million dollars out there, because he can afford it — and he's going to ask the paparazzi out there to find videos of all the other team members talking trash and racist rants. And then it's open season. And if, because you say an off-color joke or make a racist rant privately, that causes you to lose a job — nobody would have a job! Black people do it, Jews do it, Christians do it — everybody does it! It's called America. Free speech. Even if free speech insults other people. Privately. Publicly, that's different. "I'm on the side of free speech in the privacy of your own home or privacy of the situation. "Big Brother has finally crawled in bed with us." During a 2012 interview with Noisecreep, KISS frontman Paul Stanley made it clear that he didn't share his bandmate Gene Simmons' views on voicing their political opinions publicly. "I don't know what's more embarrassing, these musicians and actors talking about politics in interviews or the media actually giving them credibility about it," Stanley said. "It's absurd that a celebrity could speak out on the economy or politics with no more justification than a hit album or a movie. Not to deride Gene, but I just think he's part of a symptom of absurdity where you'll see somebody on television whose only criteria for being there is success in a field far away from what they're being asked about. I really don't know who is more ridiculous, the celebrity answering these political questions or the person asking them." He continued, "I'm usually not at a loss for words, but this whole celebrity political thing always gets me. It's so embarrassing to see people with absolutely no inside knowledge of anything they are talking about. I have friends who are intimately involved with world affairs and these are the people who won't give opinions like these celebrities do. For my friends, it's far more complex and sensitive than that, unlike these celebrities who read some newspaper story, or watch CNN, and then spout out some opinion on something they truly don't know anything about." Earlier in 2012, Simmons expressed regret over his endorsement of President Barack Obama in 2008, telling Fox News' "Fox and Friends", "Hindsight is 20/20. I have some real issues with the economy and how it's being done. America should be in business and it should be run by a businessman." He continued, "America is a business. If you can't afford to do something, no matter how much bellyaching everybody does… I'm so sorry, if you can't afford it, you shouldn't do it. If you can afford to take care of two kids. Have two kids. Don't have ten kids. If you can't afford to have a $400,000 home, you can afford a $100,000 home, then do that." Asked by host Gretchen Carlson who his pick for president was, Simmons responded, "Strictly speaking on the economy and in my humble opinion, Mitt Romney."
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).