“Understandably, this has been misinterpreted”: Rod Stewart apologizes for mock execution video

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Singer Rod Stewart is apologizing for a video in which he mimicked an ISIS-style execution in the middle of a Middle Eastern desert.

“From re-enacting the Beatles’ Abbey Road crossing to spontaneously playing out ‘Game Of Thrones,’ we were simply larking about pre-show,” Stewart, 72, said in an apology released Friday. “Understandably, this has been misinterpreted and I send my deepest apologies to those who have been offended.”

The video was posted to the Instagram account of his wife, Penny Lancaster. The 46-second clip showed Stewart and his friends strolling across a sand dune. While his wife slid down the sand dune, and a group gathered around him, Stewart could be seen ushering a man to the ground, holding him by the hair and making slicing motions across his neck. The other people in the video could be heard cheering and laughing.

The video, captioned “Rod Stewart (leader) band doing a ‘Beatles’ sand dune crossing” was later removed from Lancaster’s Instagram.

Most reactions were understandably negative. Many felt the video was in poor taste, especially since the singer was on tour in the Middle East, and the video was taken near Abu Dhabi. Stewart called it a “Game of Thrones” play. Others called it “re-enacting a sick ISIS beheading execution.” Some went called Stewart “immature and completely irresponsible” and demanded personal apologies.

However there were some who argued that it was clear that the singer was just having a laugh. Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, a fan of Stewart’s, wrote: “I can’t think of anything more unbearably vulgar than demanding good taste from our rock stars.” She added that longtime fans of Stewart would simply see this as “yet another amusing addition” to Stewart’s sense of humor.

A good note to Stewart, though: If you’re looking for things to do during your day, maybe this is a good time to say that the Nintendo Switch is coming out today.