British boy band Blue logged on to the web site of the British tabloid The Sun to promote their next single which is scheduled for release in the UK in November. Instead, band member Lee Ryan ended up making outrageous statements that the terrorist attacks didn’t deserve the intense media coverage, which should be devote to the plight of animals.
During the web chat, a fan asked why the group’s tour of Singapore had been cancelled. The group had actually been in New York and witnessed the second plane that hit the World Trade Center. After his band mates go on about the horror of watching that, Ryan goes off about elephants and whales:
Lee Ryan – What about whales?
They are ignoring animals that are more important. Animals need saving and that’s more important.
This New York thing is being blown out of proportion.
Simon- Shut up Lee.
Lee – Who gives a f… about New York when elephants are being killed.
Duncan- Shut up.
Lee – I’m not afraid to say this, it has to be said. IÂ’m not afraid to say it and that’s why I’m the outspoken one from the band.
The group’s record label, Virgin Records, apparently raked Ryan over the coals for this obscene statement, and almost immediately an apology was posted on the group’s official web site. A statement attributed to Ryan says,
By now you might have heard about the stupid comments I made the other day to The Sun newspaper.
I just wanted to say to you all how sorry I am, I can’t believe I said it. I didn’t even mean it like that and the second I said it I was like “Oh My God” that isn’t what I meant.
All I can say is that since we got back from New York we have all been asked again and again about our experiences there and, to be honest, what we saw in New York was so bad that I’ve always tried to avoid talking about it.
He didn’t mean it? Give me a break. This has “cover your ass” all over it. Or as The Sun put it, “Lee may have apologized but he is 18, old enough to vote and to know better.”
Don’t worry, though, if Virgin should drop the group or his pop career goes south, he’s always got a career writing editorials for Animal People.
Who give a **** about New York when whales and elephants are dying? Dominic, Mohan, The Sun, October 26, 2001.
Blue chat outrage. Jacqui Swift, The Sun, October 26, 2001.
Statement from Lee. Lee Ryan, PopGoss.Com, October 26, 2001.