Datsik returns after 18 months with nail-in-the-coffin public statement [Op-Ed]
The way the word “cancelled” has been thrown around online in the last two years has frankly made the term a little corny. Though, despite the term’s relative dilution in the #MeToo era, it remains the only sufficing phrase to describe the backlash Datsik was met with when reports of his sexual misconduct began to surface nearly two years ago. It is hardly retribution for the victims, but at least Troy Beetles recoiled into radio silence nearly overnight—his label and bandmate jumped ship within hours of the reports, and his tour halted in its tracks. Though now, counting on the Internet’s collectively short memory (and a slew of other #MeToo takedowns in between) Datsik has returned with a lengthy public statement, and video, that exactly zero people asked for addressing what he seems to believe was a “self-imposed hiatus.”
The note, over 1,110 words in length, doesn’t even acknowledge the victims of the alleged assaults, nor apologize to the victims. So, for the TL;DR crowd, its essentially a masterclass in beating around the bush. Furthermore, as if the whole megillah didn’t reek of disingenuousness anyway, towards the bottom of Datsik’s note, the new music marketing call to action lands almost like clockwork, “I’ve done a lot of brainstorming while I’ve been off the radar, and I have some awesome and exciting plans to share with you all soon.”
Terrific, waiting with bated breath over here.
Some parts of the apology…err, explanation, seem so delusional it feels as though picking apart the note word by word would be kicking a sick person while they’re down. He seems to genuinely believe that this is a) an adequate apology to his victims, b) his lifestyle habits are an appropriate explanation for his misdeeds, and c) that he deserves a second lease on life after this. Well, I’d hate to be the bearer of bad news here…
The most troubling thing about Datsik’s statement is that the note just reads like a rambling diatribe of “me, me, me” when it should be an exercise in repentance, and dare I say…groveling? The note’s rampant selfishness approaches, then eclipses repugnance, especially in passages like,
“I apologize for my poor behavior and the reckless lifestyle that had a detrimental effect on my relationships. It is a lifestyle that I am no longer practicing and one that I have worked hard to overcome. In the end, when I lost everything I loved, I also lost my self-esteem and hit rock bottom. It was then that I realized that a massive shift of focus was necessary in order to do right by everyone who has supported me, and for me to start the next chapter of my life.”
The general tone of the note places a heavy emphasis on how poor lifestyle choices and unaddressed mental health issues contributed to …(skip mention of sexual assault) …”taking much needed time to look in the mirror and work on improving [one’s] self.” Now, I’m just a blogger, perhaps the furthest thing from a doctor or mental health professional, but if anxiety and depression are things you’ve suffered from since you were a child, wouldn’t the depressive side-effects of drug and alcohol use be things to decidedly avoid during life out on the road? Granted, that is so much easier said than done, even for mere mortals outside of the celebrity spotlight. But to use those behaviors or ailments as scapegoats for what is, at the core of this conversation, a sexual misconduct issue, is so incredibly backwards, that now is when Datsik actually deserves to be cancelled.
Usually, when an apology is followed by a “but,” the apology generally nullified. “I’m sorry, but…” isn’t really an apology. And Datsik even saw it fit to skip that first part, effectively making his overly verbose explanation a monologue that would have been best left practiced in the mirror where nobody would ever hear it. Every word feels like the shovel lifting more dirt out of the grave Datsik already dug himself 18 months ago.
Simply put, Beetles could have saved 1,000 words of breath if he had just said, “I am truly sorry to the women I hurt.” Maybe then would it be easier to give a mentally sick man an inkling of sympathy, or in due time, the opportunity to make art again. But after 1,100 words that aren’t more than a glorified “Oops, my b, new music coming,” perhaps “cancelled” really is the only word fit for the once-beloved Datsik.