Did you think Marilyn Manson’s music would suffer a massive drop in consumption following the wave of abuse allegations leveled against the performer last week? Think again: in three key metrics, music streams, digital sales and physical media, the shock rocker saw an increase.
That rise comes with some caveats, though. First of all, the jumps were relatively small; on-demand streams were up 7% in the week ending February 4, to 6 million, while traditional digital sales were up 40% to 2,000, according to Billboard. Physical sales of Manson’s latest album, We Are Chaos, rose 50 units to 400 week over week, according to the Stream N’ Destroy newsletter.
What’s more, it feels like a safe assumption that many folks felt a sense of morbid curiosity to check out that one Manson song they remembered from their youth (this story reached far beyond the metal world). The fact that digital sales in particular were up the most — a medium typically utilized by an older-skewing demographic — supports this thesis.
By extension, I believe last week’s rise will be followed by a precipitous drop the following week, from which Manson will never recover.
Still, we should be asking ourselves what it says about our society that a rockstar can sustain such horrific allegations and still experience a rise in music consumption.
There is at least some good news, though: “Don’t Chase The Dead,” a track from We Are Chaos, completely dropped off Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay’s chart after 12 weeks there (it had been at #34 most recently), as radio stations en masse cut the track from their playlists.
Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood wrote a post on Instagram last Monday, February 1, in which she said that Manson, her former fiancée, “horrifically abused me for years,” the first time she explicitly mentioned his name after detailing abuse of an unnamed ex in 2019, widely believed to be Manson. Since then, there’s been a deluge of similar accusations from other women.
Manson has called the previous accusations against him “horrible distortions of reality.” But the fallout has already been tremendous, with the singer being dropped by his label, Loma Vista, and his agency, CAA. He was also fired from television roles on the programs American Gods and Creepshow and by his longtime manager, Tony Ciulla, who dropped his client after 25 years of working together.
Two former Manson collaborators, Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland and Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor, have both spoken out against the shock rocker. Borland called Manson “a bad fucking guy” and asserted that his victims “are speaking the truth,” while Reznor said that he has “been vocal over the years about my dislike of Manson as a person and cut ties with him nearly 25 years ago.” He also denied, not for the first time, a story from Manson’s memoir, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, in which the singer claims that he and Reznor plied two women with alcohol and then took advantage of them once they were heavily inebriated.
Actor Corey Feldman, best known for his roles in several classic ’80s films, came out and detailed “decades long mental and emotional abuse” at the hands of Manson. Otep frontwoman Otep Shamaya shared an unsettling story about Manson as well, as did singer/songwriter Phoebe Bridgers.
Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy’s wife and manager, addressed calls to comment on Manson by saying her relationship with him was strictly business and that she wasn’t privy to his personal life.
On Wednesday, February 3, police reportedly “swarmed” Manson’s home after a friend contacted authorities to say they couldn’t reach the singer and were concerned for his well-being. Although Manson never emerged from his house, a rep for the singer told police he was “fine.”
California State Senator Susan Rubio has requested that the FBI investigate Manson. There has been no word as to whether or not her request has been granted.
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Author: Vince Neilstein
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February 10, 2021