Vicky Hungerford, the director of the metal festival Bloodstock, will “take a step back from her role” after being criticised for a recent tweet.
Hungerford sparked a backlash last week (October 14) after saying in a since-deleted tweet: “If you’re going to start putting pronouns on your emails so I can refer to you as he/him she or her, I’m binning your emails.”
Amid backlash from Twitter users, the festival’s entertainment manager Paul Watling also announced that he was leaving his post “for obvious reasons” and said Hungerford’s comment “is not an isolated incident.”
“You can NOT promote a festival of inclusivity without including EVERYONE,” he said.
I’ve left Bloodstock as entertainment manager tonight for obvious reasons.There are hundreds of people who make that…
Posted by Paul Chunk Watling on Thursday, October 14, 2021
That evening, Bloodstock’s Twitch account also stopped streaming. A statement said: “We as a community and festival strive to be welcoming and supportive of people’s choices […] We have decided that it would be inappropriate to stream tonight — and for the foreseeable future — as if nothing happened.”
After deleting her original comment, Hungerford said: “So it appears my last tweet offended people and that was NOT my intention, I deleted my tweet as some people were upset and I was NEVER intending to upset anyone!”
This was followed by a more substantial apology, in which Hungerford said: “My post was my frustration leaking out that some people now feel they HAVE to sign off with a pronoun, not necessarily just because they want to.
To all ❤️ I hope the very community and people offended will accept my apology x pic.twitter.com/C9yfkQzuDt
— Bloodstockvicky 𝓥𝓲𝓬𝓴𝔂 𝓗𝓾𝓷𝓰𝓮𝓻𝓯𝓸𝓻𝓭 (@vickyhungerford) October 14, 2021
“I apologise for the way I said it and how it came across. I am a compassionate, kind and inclusive person and for me, that’s an important part of what the metal community is, or should be.”
Screenshots have also been shared which appear to show Hungerford saying: “For the love of god can we all STOP with this gender neutral bullshit !!” in 2018.
What about this though? pic.twitter.com/XgfbFHK4ET
— ladybalthezar (@Cazang1112) October 14, 2021
The following day (October 15), Bloodstock announced that Hungerford would be taking “a step back” from the festival, “effective immediately, and will be taking the time to properly educate herself for a better understanding”.
— bloodstockfest (@BLOODSTOCKFEST) October 15, 2021
“Bloodstock is a festival that has always strived to be inclusive, welcoming and supportive of all groups of people. We are ashamed and disappointed by the recent lack of understanding, awareness and opinions voiced from within the Bloodstock camp.
“These views are not a reflection of the festival as a whole.”
In August Bloodstock announced that Lamb Of God and Mercyful Fate will headline 2022’s edition, which will also feature the likes of Testament and GWAR.