Pink Floyd‘s Roger Waters faced allegations he made antisemitic remarks such as ‘dirty k***’ and ‘Jew food’.
He also allegedly mocked a Jewish musician’s grandmother who died in the Holocaust.
The legendary guitarist is accused of putting on a ‘slapstick impression’ of a ‘Polish peasant woman’ and jokingly telling his saxophonist: ‘I’ve met your grandmother!’
All of these claims are made in a film by former BBC investigative journalist John Ware.
It comes as the 80-year-old singer and bass player is on world tour – having dressed in a Nazi-style uniform during a concert in Berlin earlier this year.
Over the years, Waters has consistently denied he is antisemitic.
But the documentary by veteran Panorama reporter Mr Ware – commissioned by the Campaign Against Antisemitism and released online last night – features two former colleagues speaking publicly for the first time who say they think he is one.
Waters faces accusations he wanted a giant floating pig at his concerts emblazoned with the Star of David and offensive slogans.
In an email, allegedly sent by Waters in 2010, he appears to suggest to his backstage team that the pig should be made with ‘dirty k***’, ‘follow the money’ and ‘scum’ written on the sides.
The word ‘k***’ is a notoriously offensive word used to denigrate Jews, while the money reference is a classic anti-Jewish trope, says the new film.
The pig was eventually made without these terms, but with the Star of David and dollar signs, and has been a feature of Waters’ concerts.
Bob Ezrin, a renowned music producer best known for his work with Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, U2, Taylor Swift and Aerosmith, tells the documentary, ‘The Dark Side of Roger Waters’, that ‘part of me is very upset with [Waters] for positions that he’s taking in the public that affect me as a Jew – and affect my people and my family and my friends, and I feel that’s why I have to do this interview and speak about it publicly’.
He suggested the floating pig would be a ‘rallying cry’ to antisemites in the audience, even if Waters himself insisted it was not antisemitic.
Mr Ezrin, who co-produced Pink Floyd’s seminal album The Wall, said: ‘It’s not like he doesn’t know that people are hurt. It’s not like he doesn’t know that this is enflaming antisemites – there are people applauding him and egging him on who wish that the Jews would go back to where they came from.’
He added: ‘I don’t believe that Roger sees himself as an antisemite, in the same way that most people don’t see themselves as racist. But he walks like one, he quacks one, he swims like one – so you know, from my point of view he’s functionally a duck.’
Waters has maintained he wants to highlight racism and religious dogma with all sorts of symbols.
Norbert Statchel, a saxophonist who toured with Waters all over the world, alleged to the documentary that when waiters at a restaurant had once brought out vegetarian dishes, Waters had exclaimed: ‘Where’s the meat? What’s with this? This is Jew food! What’s with the Jew food! Take away the Jew food!’.
Mr Statchel, who is Jewish, said: ‘I’m just sitting there, kind of in a panic. I don’t know what to do.’
Asked if he regarded Waters as antisemitic, he replied: ‘I personally do.’