Made on the occasion of LCD Soundsystem's May 6, 2017 debut performance on Saturday Night Live, these t-shirts, beautifully hand-drawn by artists Charlotte Delarue and J Penry, feature portraits of Chris Brown and Donald Trump under the labels "No Honor" and "Bad Hombres."
Proceeds from the sales of these shirts will be donated to The National Domestic Violence Hotline and RAINN
Hi there! Nancy Whang, keyboard player, background singer, and token female and minority of LCD Soundsystem here to give you a little background on the inspiration behind the No Honor and Bad Hombres shirts I wore during our debut performance on Saturday Night Live. While it was an enormous honor and pleasure to play on the show, I had a personal moral objection to appearing on SNL. But being part of a group means not ruining it for everyone else. So although I couldn't demonstrate my objection through boycott, I would have felt remiss if I didn’t at least use the opportunity to express my position.
Here’s the long version of my issue with appearing on SNL:
In 2010-2011 LCD Soundsystem was invited to be the musical guest on the show three times, but each time we ended up getting bumped weeks before the scheduled date for another act. The final cancellation had us replaced by Chris Brown. I took great exception to this because not only is he reprehensible, SNL had to go and make it personal by choosing him over us, a band with a woman in the group. They tried to make it up to us by offering us a later date, but it would come after what was, at the time, our “Final Show.” So, insult to injury.
I don’t have a lot of aspirations as a musician. I feel lucky enough already to be able to make a living playing music with the people I love. And we have been blessed with many, many successes. Nevertheless, the only dream I ever hoped to fulfill was to perform on Saturday Night Live. But being passed over for a nightmare of a person like Chris Brown killed any joy I had at the anticipation of playing on the show which, truthfully, is kind of what stings the most. I was reassured that no one who was involved in the musical guest bookings from that season is still employed by SNL, but not everyone is gone. There was still at least one person in the room who could have said no.
Then there was November 7, 2015. Exactly a year and a day before the Presidential Election of 2016 and a few months after NBC severed all business ties with him for his racist remarks about Mexican immigrants, Donald Trump, misogynistic bully, hosted Saturday Night Live. I liken SNL’s invitation to Trump to an unspoken but public affirmation of his questionable ethics and a dismissal of the menace he posed (poses) on the American people, the global population, civil liberties, and basic humanity.
Suffice it to say, I was loath to be affiliated with the same company that seemed to casually disregard the offenses these two men have perpetrated, on women in particular, for concern that indeed I would be giving my tacit consent to their choices. So to demonstrate my protest, I wore these shirts during our live performance on national TV.
All this being said, in the end, playing on Saturday Night Live was a momentously joyous experience, made all the more so by the incredibly warm and generous cast, crew and staff at Studio 8H. My criticism of SNL's guest choices does not tarnish my opinion of the hard-working, tireless individuals who make that show run like a Swiss clock. I am supremely honored to have been invited to perform on the show and proud to now be part of the legacy of this legendary New York institution, one that is historically known for its critical political commentary.
I am especially grateful to Melanie at SNL for treating us like family during our brief residence, Charlotte and J for granting me the use of their remarkable talents, Max Wowch for quickly yet masterfully printing my shirts in time for the show, and most of all, to Barbara Kruger for her indelible influence and inspiration, and for giving me free license to totally bite her style.
Finally, even if you don’t agree with my take on the situation and think I’m full of shit, I hope you will at least agree that the shirts look fucking cool and the National Domestic Violence Hotline and RAINN are organizations worthy of your support, and will buy a shirt or two to show your solidarity with any and all women who have ever had to endure unwanted sexual advances or violent attack or simply the beleaguering subjection of patriarchy. Or skip me all together and donate to them directly.
Lots of love,