Sir Rod Stewart has apologized after a video appeared online this week in which the rocker seemingly performed an ISIS-style mock execution on a male friend in the desert.
According to the Independent, Stewart’s wife Penny Lancaster first posted the video to her Instagram account, which showed the 72-year-old “Maggie May” singer walking on a sand dune in the desert of Abu Dhabi with a group of friends.
At one point, one of Stewart’s male friends kneels down in front of the singer, as Stewart pulls his head back with his hand and appears to make a cutting motion across the man’s throat.
The video was deleted from Lancaster’s account but was captured by several media outlets, including TMZ.
The rocker came under fire from some fans, social media users and even the families of ISIS victims.
Relatives of David Haines and Alan Henning, two British aid workers who were murdered by the ISIS terrorist known as Jihadi John, told the UK Mirror that they found the joke to be “brainless” and “disgraceful.”
Stewart apologized in a statement, saying he had not intended to mock ISIS executions and had instead been emulating a scene from the HBO series Game of Thrones.
“From re-enacting the Beatles’ Abbey Road crossing to spontaneously playing out Game of Thrones, we were simply larking about pre-show,” he said in a statement to the Independent. “Understandably, this had been misinterpreted and I send my deepest apologies to those who have been offended.”
Stewart’s apology did little to quell the criticism (and sarcastic jokes) on social media.
Not sure I'm a great fan of Rod Stewart's new album cover, tbh. pic.twitter.com/a5Wk4xweJu
— Thomas Jones (@tomj191) March 3, 2017
Rod Stewart, what happened, man?
— DIRTBAG LEFTIST (@coconono) March 3, 2017
I hope I've got the energy to perform mock executions with teenagers when I'm Rod Stewart's age. I won't probably, but nice to have options
— John Shafthauer (@hourlyterrier) March 3, 2017
Excited to start my first day as Rod Stewart's US publicist. Time to take a huge swig of coffee and see what's in today's news pic.twitter.com/SM1IpRzK0R
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) March 3, 2017
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum