KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has announced that he is leaving X, the Elon Musk-owned social network formerly known as Twitter.
On Saturday (November 18), Gene took to his account the platform to write: “Friends, I’ve decided to end my X/Twitter posting. From now on find me on: http://instagram.com/genesimmons, http://tiktok.com/@genesimmons, and http://threads.net/genesimmons”.
The 74-year-old Simmons, who is Jewish, did not indicate whether his reasons for leaving X had anything to do with the fact that the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group, recently said the rise of antisemitic content has risen more sharply on X than on rival platforms.
A number of celebrities and influencers, including the actors Sacha Baron Cohen, Debra Messing and Amy Schumer, have confronted social media executives about the proliferation of hate speech. Some have also voiced concern that Musk has inflamed tensions with his own posts endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
Musk sparked the latest backlash by expressing support on Thursday for an antisemitic post on the platform, describing it as “the actual truth.”
The original X user’s post claimed Jews “have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”
The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur later said his comments referred not to all Jewish people but to groups like the Anti-Defamation League and other unspecified groups.
In 2021, Simmons, whose Hungarian mother survived the Holocaust, joined more than 170 black and Jewish leaders from the entertainment industry launching the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance (BJEA),described by the organization as ‘a joint initiative by black and Jewish entertainment industry professionals devoted to countering racism and anti-Semitism in the entertainment community.’
Gene told Daily Mail he was disgusted by the racism he sees in America and said society should take a hardline approach to those spreading prejudice and hate, comparing them to cockroaches.
“It is going to get better but you’ve got to confront it,” he said. “You’ve got to turn on the light and go after those cockroaches. And don’t just chase them out. Find out where they live. Identify them, make their lives miserable — legally. Shine the light on that cockroach. The guy with his drunken buddies hurling racial epithets, take photos of him. This guy’s name is so-and-so and he lives right outside of Manchester and works in this garage. Guess what the garage is gonna do? They’re going to fire his ass right away, because they don’t want the attention of hiring a hate-monger.’
Simmons praised the Donald Trump administration for opening dialogue between Arab nations and Israel but added that “doesn’t give him a pass in the hatred he spewed as a world leader.
“He was the fuel for the fire that enabled these extremists to storm the White House. Without a president like that in charge they wouldn’t dare,” he said.
“Cockroaches hide until they see a big one in the middle of the room.”