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James Hetfield Hunting Doc Prompts Anti-Metallica Glastonbury Petition

James Hetfield
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Metallica frontman James Hetfield‘s fondness for artillery isn’t exactly a secret — he’s a celebrity hunter and a member of the NRA — but his decision to narrate a new TV series about Alaskan bear hunting has landed the group in hot water with a group of online activists.

They’ve banded together in an effort to have Metallica’s somewhat controversial headlining slot at this year’s Glastonbury festival revoked, launching a petition and a Facebook page that, as of this writing, has attracted more than 14,000 “likes.” According to a posting, “This page is an appeal to Glastonbury to remove Metallica from their lineup. We believe James Hetfield’s support of big-game hunting is incompatible with the spirit of Glastonbury and brings its good name into disrepute.”

“I doubt very much that James Hetfield is the first high-profile big-game hunter to grace the stages — I’m sure there have been many,” added a group admin. “I do, however, doubt that any of them have had a prime time History show promoting his view that hunting is a good thing to do, on at the same time. This double exposure gives his views extra publicity and acceptability, and this is where we can have an effect… This is about raising awareness and making both Metallica and Glastonbury aware of what appears to be a large number of people’s disapproval.”

While he didn’t address the petition directly, drummer Lars Ulrich responded to criticism of the band’s Glastonbury booking in a recent interview, shrugging, “The fact that everyone’s got an opinion I’ll take as a good thing, because it means that people still care and are still interested and we still have one foot in relevance of some sort. It’s comforting that 33 years into a career you can still mange to stir it up a little bit. Glastonbury is the biggest, greatest festival on this planet, and we’re headlining Saturday night. Bring it on. We’re going to show up and have fun, but all the hoopla is interesting.”

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