Roger Waters Dropped From BMG After Controversial Comments on Israel

January 30, 2024

Woah, did you see this one coming? BMG is done with Roger Waters. The record label parted ways with the Pink Floyd icon after his controversial statements about Israel and Ukraine.

If you’re not completely up-to-speed, the Coles Notes: Waters denounced the war in Ukraine and said that Russia’s invasion was “not unprovoked”.

Do some digging. BMG is a German company. And if you didn’t know, they were close to releasing a newly-recorded version of Pink Floyd’s brilliant album, Dark Side of the Moon. But CEO Thomas Coesfeld stopped that after taking control of the company in July ’23. The album did see the light of day – thru a release on British label, Cooking Vinyl, instead.

It’s no secret – Waters has long been critic of Israel, but with the ongoing bloodshed in Gaza, his comments now have a spotlight attached to them. He’s been accused of being antisemitic, which he denies.

Waters told Glenn Greenwald in a November ’23 interview about his relationship with record label BMG, “They fired me”. Waters says the label was pressured by Israel supporters. But was it ultimately new CEO Coesfeld’s decision?

BMG’s parent company Bertelsmann released a statement supporting Israel following Hamas’ attack on October 7 ’23.

Are you surprised to see BMG release such a powerful musician/artist from their roster? Or is the smartest thing to do – distance yourself from controversial comments?


Written by Todd Hancock