Gene Simmons Reportedly Slapped With Lifetime Ban by Fox News
With his outsized personality, outspoken opinion and conservative-leaning political views, Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons has long been a natural fit for guest appearances on the Fox News network. But being unfiltered can cut both ways, and now Simmons’ behavior has apparently earned him a lifetime ban at the network.
UPDATE: Simmons has issued the following statement to Ultimate Classic Rock: “I have appeared frequently over the years on various Fox News and Fox Business programs and have a tremendous amount of respect for the talented women and men who work there. While I believe that what is being reported is highly exaggerated and misleading, I am sincerely sorry that I unintentionally offended members of the Fox team during my visit.”
The Daily Beast reports that the trouble started on Nov. 15, when Simmons stopped by to tape interviews and appearances promoting his new financial self-help book, On Power. Clearly in a high-energy mood, Simmons even made his way over to the map to help meteorologist Janice Dean present her weather report.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) November 15, 2017
During his interview with Mornings With Maria host Maria Bartiromo, Simmons was asked to weigh in on the growing list of celebrities, entertainment industry executives and politicians embroiled in a variety of sexual misconduct scandals — and he seemed to suggest that although this type of behavior has long been tacitly accepted, if not outright encouraged in some quarters, those days are done.
“I’m a powerful and attractive man and what I’m about to say is deadly serious,” Simmons said. “Men are jackasses. And from the time we’re young, we have testosterone. I’m not validating it or defending it. Guys need to be trained from their very, very young ages from their mothers and their loved ones that half the world’s population are female, and they need to be treated with respect.”
All of Simmons’ on-camera interactions went well, in other words — but according to the Beast’s sources, he didn’t fare as well once the cameras stopped rolling. He’s accused of bursting into a staff meeting, unbuttoning his shirt and yelling “Hey chicks, sue me,” and whacking a pair of employees on the head with his book as some sort of intelligence test. His actions were reported to network execs, who reportedly, and quickly, barred Simmons from the building and imposed a lifetime ban on future appearances.
It’s all fairly bizarre, even in the context of Simmons’ brazen public persona, and while neither he nor his reps has commented on the story, a Fox News spokesperson has confirmed the Daily Beast’s account to Ultimate Classic Rock. (We also reached out to Simmons’ publicist for a comment, but have not heard back.) Whatever Simmons ends up having to say about it, it looks like he’ll have to find some new stops on his next promotional tour — and Fox pundits will need to dial up a different right-wing rocker for talking head segments from here on out.