Roger Waters reportedly lost out on a $4 million (£3.3 million) sponsorship deal with American Express due to his controversial views on Israel.
The former Pink Floyd rocker is an outspoken critic of the Israeli government due to its actions during the long-term conflict over Palestinian statehood and has backed a boycott of the nation’s products and services.
American Express sponsored the recent Desert Trip festival, at which Roger played alongside acts including The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan.
However bosses at the financial firm reportedly balked at spending $4 million to fund the Wish You Were Here singer’s 2017 US + Them North American tour due to his stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Roger is putting on a huge show,” an American Express insider told the New York Post’s Page Six gossip column.
“The company was asked to sponsor his tour for $4 million, but pulled out because it did not want to be part of his anti-Israel rhetoric.” An official spokesperson for the firm confirmed executives had passed up the chance to sponsor Roger’s North American trek, but did not confirm it was due to his views on the Jewish state.
“We never committed to sponsoring Roger Waters’ upcoming tour,” the representative said. “When we were approached with the options, we passed on making a bid. It is a balancing act to work with artists our card members love, within the budgets we have allocated.”
Roger, who has signed a deal with rival financial giant Citi to help fund his tour, has previously alleged musicians are reticent to share their views on Israel due to the backlash they may face. “If they (musicians) say something in public (about Israel) they will no longer have a career,” he told The Independent earlier this year.
“They will be destroyed. I’m hoping to encourage some of them to stop being frightened and to stand up and be counted, because we need them.” Representatives for Roger did not respond to requests for comment.
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