Last month, Gene Simmons was permanently banned from Fox News for behavior closely resembling sexual harassment—or as they might call it around the Fox News offices, a typical Wednesday. He apparently walked into a staff meeting, exposed his chest and belly, bopped employees on the head with his mouthful of a new book, On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power, and made some pedophilia jokes. Simmons recently sat down with BBC’s Hardtalk and denied any wrongdoing (via Metal Sucks):
“Here’s how I wear my shirt. Somebody there apparently had the goods in for me and called something called The Daily Beast or something and said whatever they said I did. I did nothing. I always had people around me. Like when I come here, I’ve got handlers and everybody sees what I’m doing. You can’t go into a public area and do anything.”
He then claims that the Daily Beast, who ran the initial report, never reached out to his team for comment. (The Daily Beast wrote that they asked his publicist for comment before the piece ran, and added a statement from Simmons after it was published):
“The problem is with social media today is nobody calls you and says, ‘Do you have a comment?’ So the story was printed, and, of course, everybody exploded. And Fox, you know, they’re nice people — I like them a lot — closed ranks and they’re afraid of getting sued by everybody. Nothing happened. I stand by every word.”
Later in the BBC interview, Simmons also addressed two sexual harassment allegations that emerged soon after his Fox News appearance, which basically amounted to “there’s a lot of bad dudes out there, but #NotAllMen”:
“All of a sudden, 44 years on in a rock band, somebody’s coming up and saying, ‘This guy is a bad guy.’ It’s not true. I think the climate is horrifically bad and yet at the same time empowering to the right women. There are some really bad guys out there; I just happen not to be one of them.”
This is a slight departure from what he said on Fox News when asked about the Harvey Weinstein scandal. “Men are jackasses. From the time we’re young we have testosterone,” he said. “I’m not validating it or defending it.” Huh.