Empire of the Sun—an Australian electro-pop duo best known for selling you Honda Civics with their 2008 hit, “Walking On A Dream,” the insane headwear, and appearing way higher than you’d expect on just about every festival lineup—are also weirdly supportive of bigots? At least one. On Wednesday, the duo made headlines for honoring famed televangelist Billy Graham, who died earlier that morning at 99, in an Instagram post.
The band’s official account posted an image and quote from the late pastor, with a caption reading “God bless the great Billy Graham.” Some fans called attention to the fact Graham, in addition to serving as religious counselor to a dozen U.S. presidents and landing on the right side of the segregation debate, also kind of sucked shit, displaying a long lineage of backwards views about LGBTQ rights (with a section of his website recommending conversion therapy), anti-Semitic comments in a 1973 conversation with Richard Nixon, and advocating for women to basically stick to being homemakers.
Nick Littlemore—one half of the duo who isn’t the primary songwriter or dude wearing the headgear—presumably didn’t create the Empire post, since he commented from his personal account, “Not all of us are interested in celebrating a life of a bigot #fyi 😐.” When one fan asked who runs the account, Littlemore made clear that it isn’t him: “I don’t run this account! I was quite upset to see this post.”
Love to see bands publicly sort out their differences in the comment section! The lesson here: always talk before you post.