Recent claims made via Twitter asserted that a then-36-year-old Maynard James Keenan sexually assaulted and raped a 17-year-old girl while on tour in 2000. At the time, Keenan was on his first tour as A Perfect Circle’s frontman, amid a Tool hiatus. The claim came from an anonymous source and spread across the web, particularly on Reddit. None of the allegations have yet been substantiated in any way, and contrarily, according to Alternative Nation, they’ve been heavily questioned as suspicious by online fans doing their own research. Whatever the legitimacy of the claims, one thing is certain, Maynard doesn’t appear shaken.
Pitchfork is reporting Maynard James Keenan’s annoyed response at the allegations also hold a tone of gratitude and concern. Keenan was thankful to people he said “saw right through” the anonymous claim, and particularly concerned for the Me Too movement itself. He also lambasted people who perpetuate online claims, described as “clickbait.”
“Many thanks to those of you who saw right through this despicable false claim that only does damage to the #metoo movement. And shame on those of you who perpetuate this destructive clickbait. As for my delayed but un-required response, I had my phone off. You should try it.”
Keenan is presumably hard at work on a new Tool album, a record approximately 12 years in the making. Fan response to the 12-year Tool holdup has ranged from humorous, to vitriolic. Some Reddit fans joke about the length between records, sharing memes with one another, while others express sincere anger about Tool’s lack of urgency in delivering a new album.
A band both adored and reviled, and also fronted by the particularly cheeky Maynard James Keenan, Tool isn’t without its share of enemies. That an anonymous Twitter source can make an accusation of such magnitude, and it quickly become headline material, will likely only increase worry of a veritable open-season on artists from disgruntled fans, using the significance of the Me Too movement as a gateway.
Maynard’s expression of concern for the damage to Me Too likely points to the potential for legitimacy concerns in the future, should more quantifiable accusations be made. However sincere Keenan may have been in his tweet, recent accusations of sexual misconduct have recently been met with significant push back, particularly from actor Morgan Freeman. Freeman has planned a lawsuit in response to accusations against himself.
From Maynard James Keenan, to Senator Al Franken, public figures refuting salacious claims is nothing new. However, Maynard’s response to headline-grabbing anonymous tweets, via his own tweet, certainly illustrates the potential power of Twitter in 2018.