Pearl Jam Bassist Jeff Ament said on Wednesday that he welcomes “all interpretations” over a poster he designed that depicts a dead Donald Trump and an American bald eagle eating the remains of his corpse.
Pearl Jam released a poster for a get-out-the-vote concert on Monday promoting Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), which raised significant controversy from political and media figures.
Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called the image, “disgusting,” and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) decried the image as “despicable.”
Montana state auditor and Senate Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Matt Rosndale slammed the image as “reprehensible.”
Ament, a close friend of Sen. Tester, did not express any regret for the poster and said he welcomes “all interpretations” of it.
— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) August 14, 2018
“The role of artists is to make people think and feel, and the current administration has us thinking and feeling,” Ament told Rolling Stone. “I was the sole conceptualist of this poster, and I welcome all interpretations and discourse. Love, from the First Amendment, Jeff Ament.”
Two days after the Monday concert, Tester’s campaign spokesman, not Tester, condemned the image only after the media shed light on the controversy. Tester’s campaign spokesman, Chris Meagher, said that they do not like the poster and do not condone violence of any kind.
Rosendale chastised Tester on Breitbart News Tonight for not personally condemning the Pearl Jam poster.
“Jon Tester was on stage with these people. He’s brought them in each election cycle he’s had because he has a childhood friend, apparently, that is one of the band members, designed this poster and he has not come out personally and condemned this activity,” Rosendale explained.
“I find that very disturbing. The best he could do is come out 24 hours later and send a spokesman out to say that they don’t like it they didn’t approve it,” the Montana Republican added.