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The Tenors’ Remigio Pereira likely didn’t envision the fallout when he altered the lyrics to the Canadian national anthem to include the words “all lives matter” at the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday (July 12) night in San Diego, holding up a “United We Stand” and “All Lives Matter” sign during “O Canada.” The Tenors subsequently dismissed him from the group “until further notice.”
Aside from his controversial reference to All Lives Matter — which many see as an offensive, whitewashing backlash to the Black Lives Matter movement — the singer’s social media is rife with conspiracy theories, including his belief that the world is flat.
On Instagram, he posted a photo of the Earth as flat with the message: “Plane(t) or Ball? Use your own intelligence, senses, and don’t just blindly accept things, ask questions. Our view of the world will dictate our children’s future. Watching a tell-a-vision ‘program’ influences viewers to believe and reflect what the program wants you to believe in order to benefit the ‘programmer.’ Do your own research, do your own experiments and you will be surprised and enlightened by the world in which we live. You may find the truth under a protective layer. With your own research you will find that Truth inside of you and not outside of you.” Among the hashtags used are #flatearth and #ericdubay, the man behind the flat earth conspiracy.
In a July 11 Facebook post, Pereira shared Simon Grinnall’s video of “the sun basking in a cloud” with the status: “The sun in front of clouds?? It is impossible for the sun to be 93 million miles away and yet be stuck in between clouds… Things that make you go hmm??? ?#nasa ?? ?#creation”
And on July 9, the singer made a lengthy post with the video “Flat Earth — Why the Lie?” that begins “The world will soon realize the lies and the deception put before us all when we one day awaken to a new state of being. A state of being held hostage by the same elite corporations and military industrial complex that told us they had our best interests at heart. Greed and fear is their opium of choice and they administer it to us to destroy our ability to think for ourselves. Our minds are being manipulated and destroyed via GMO poisonous foods, chemical spraying of our skies, a state of fear induced by their media, and lastly by force… as we see happening now. People, friends, sentient beings, become the image you were made from….become being that The Great Being taught us to be.”
Despite his apology on Instagram (there are others on Facebook and his Twitter account) about altering “O Canada” and holding up the sign, his explanation shows he still doesn’t understand the Black Lives Matter movement and why his actions were seen as disrespectful. “I’ve been so moved lately by the tragic loss of life and I hoped for a positive statement that would bring us ALL together. ONE LOVE,” he wrote. “That was my singular motivation when I said all lives matter….Love, peace and harmony for ALL has always been my life’s purpose…”
His ex-girlfriend, Chemayne Micallef, said as much in her Facebook post about the incident. In part, it reads:
“Remi, (who was born an American) yes, from Boston, is fed up with the lack of unity in his birth country and now today, he proved Canadians aren’t any different. Remi is a vegan and all he ever advocates for is PEACE and RESPECT FOR ALL LIFE, INCLUDING ANIMALS. He’s asking, “why such a prejudice towards animals?” People are wrong to colour code the statement ALL LIVES MATTER! His message should have been taken at face value, that was his message, media assumed differently, so let’s crucify him now for it…
“He is one of the kindest people away from the spotlight I’ve ever met. He cares more about the peace in this world than the money he’s put in his manager’s pocket! How quickly he was ostracized by those who claim they love him – they should be ashamed. How quickly the world condemns a man trying to make a positive change. Malice isn’t evident if that wasn’t his intent. To those who claim that that wasn’t the right place to do it – well I think this was the perfect time to show the world just how divided we truly are! AS A HUMAN RACE, WE DO NOT STAND IN PERFECT HARMONY!
If you think Remi is wrong, then you do not know him personally as I do. He has the <3 of a peace warrior….”
The rest of the Tenors — Clifton Murray, Fraser Walters, Victor Micallef — posted this statement and a publicist told Billboard they will not be doing any further interviews. An email to the group’s manager, Jeffrey Latimer, was not returned.
“The Tenors are deeply sorry for the disrespectful and misguided lack of judgment by one member of the group acting as a ‘lone wolf’ today during the singing of the Canadian national anthem at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Diego.
“The other members of the group are shocked and embarrassed by the actions of Remigio Pereira, who changed the lyrics of our treasured anthem and used this coveted platform to serve his own political views. Our sincere apologies and regrets go out to everybody who witnessed this shameful act, to our fellow Canadians, to Major League Baseball, to our friends, families, fans and to all those affected. The actions of one member of this group were extremely selfish and he will not be performing with The Tenors until further notice.”
This article originally appeared on Billboard.com.
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