Ariel Araya, the 20-year-old daughter of SLAYER frontman Tom Araya, has defended her father against accusations of homophobia, saying that Tom was merely repeating what "many other people have been saying online."
A controversy arose when a photoshopped picture of Donald Trump and the members of SLAYER appeared on their Instagram account. Tom Araya posted the image and later criticized fans who objected to the photo, saying that he "thought it was funny" and that anyone who disagrees should keep quiet. "I never would have guessed that there where so many snowflakes commenting their distaste for the new president," he wrote. "Like him or not he is the president."
The same image first appeared on the official SLAYER Instagram account on inauguration day, but was mysteriously removed before being reposted on Tuesday.
Tom later appeared to make a homophobic joke while replying to fans in the post's comments section. "Mike Pence turning fruits into vegetables," he wrote with laughing emojis. He added: "Thanks ... to everybody that has commented thanks for insight... this is how fake news gets started, not once did I say that I supported Trump... and assuming I speak for the band you are mistaking [sic] .. the picture did exactly what I thought it would do... piss some of you off."
A SLAYER band representative told Rolling Stone that Tom took it upon himself to post the photo and stressed that the image was "not something the band would have posted if asked," insisting that such a picture "does not belong on a SLAYER social page." The representative added: "We all have our personal opinions, some of which we have voiced in the past, but SLAYER has never endorsed any political party or any candidate, and the band intends to keep it that way." SLAYER guitarist Kerry King also chimed in via his wife's Instagram account, saying that "my opinion is that our war of words should be with people who don't believe what SLAYER is about. NOT with our own fan base."
Earlier today, Ariel addressed the controversy by explaining that her father never said he supported Trump and insisting that Tom's "snowflake" comment "was directed at whoever removed" the original photo when it was first posted.
She wrote on the BLABBERMOUTH.NET Facebook page: "I'm gonna make this post public, in hopes y'all would share this and MAYBE get the hardheaded people to FINALLY listen to all the nonsense surrounding my Dad.
"To be frank, I've been defending my dad from the media in an effort to try and reach the hard-headed people that chose to ignorantly read a title and not actually try to understand my Dad's caption to the photo.
"He never supported anybody. He simply wants people to stop crying and complaining about something that can't be changed.
"[Trump's] president whether people like him or not.
"[My Dad] thought the picture was funny and posted it, and someone removed it. So the snowflake comment was directed at WHOEVER removed it. But people took offense anyways. And the gay 'joke' wasn't, because he's homophobic. He isn't homophobic, but simply put what MANY OTHER PEOPLE have been saying online. He doesn't like bullying. He doesn't like idiots. He's just a man that was taken out of context. But people live to destroy others in an effort to validate their opinions.
"If you want to bash my Dad for apparently 'supporting' Trump (which he wasn't), then don't forget that Kerry endorsed Hillary [Clinton] in a Rolling Stone interview, and Gary [Holt, SLAYER guitarist] endorsed [Bernie] Sanders in a Blabbermouth interview as well.
"Think what you will, because most people just blindly follow what the media says anyways. But it's cool. Go ahead and lose your shit over it. We're just doing our own thing."