GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna has come under fire for sharing a post that has been flagged as part of Facebook's efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its news feed.
The post in question criticizes Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders's plan to raise the minimum wage and provide universal health care to all Americans. It also cites Sanders's Medicare For All plan, a single, national health insurance program that would cover everyone who lives in the United States.
The Facebook post falsely claims Sanders suggested placing a 52% tax on earnings over $29,000, thus putting an undue tax burden on minimum-wage workers and making Sanders's proposed pay increase pointless. The 52% figure was previously floated by Sanders as a potential marginal tax rate for income above $10 million.
Erna, apparently unaware that the information had been flagged as "false" by Facebook, shared the viral post Friday night (February 21) and included the following message: "I don't get into political opinions and discussions often bc I believe it's like religion. Every one has their preference and beliefs. And I won't tell you who I vote for and who I don't. And I don't care to have this become a thread or politics and hatred, But I will post this just to make sure 'my peeps' see what 'the wrong' thing is to do. #thisguyisaclown #besmart We ALL suffer is this happens!!"
After Erna made his post, one fan replied: "Atta boy Sully this is why you're my favorite artist. You are a smart and extremely talented individual. Plus, you're music has helped me more than you know. You said this post wasn't trying to start hate and you are in fact right everyone is entitled to their opinion it's called freedom of speech. Yet look at all the people disagreeing with you and spreading the hate. Screw the people who are going to hate on you because of this post. Keep being you man." This caused another fan to respond: "if he's so damn smart why is he spreading fake news lmao" A third said: "he's sharing something that is incorrect, soooo not so smart in this instance."
A short time later, another fan wrote: "Sully, I recommend taking this post down. Not because I disagree with the premise of what you're trying to say, but because the 'math' as it pertains to how income is taxed is completely inaccurate. This does not represent what Crazy Bernie is suggesting at all. I'd get away from this particular post."
Back in 2004, Erna revealed that he was not in favor of the Democratic candidate for President in that year's election, telling Launch Radio Networks: "I'm a Republican. I want Republican. I don't necessarily want [incumbent Republican president George W.] Bush to win. I don't like that choice, but I gotta tell you, I don't truly believe in the Democrats either, man. I don't like the way they think. I don't like, I don't love Bush, I'll tell you that, but I want a Republican in office."
Over the years, Erna has also been vocal in his support of the troops, starting around two decades ago when a fan of GODSMACK wanted to use the band's music in the U.S. Navy's recruitment ads. The group's song "Awake" began running in television commercials for the Navy, which had some critics saying that the band's young audience would now be influenced to join the military because of the popular tunes.