Rod Stewart has issued an apology after a video of him staging a mock execution drew criticism and comparisons to ISIS propaganda killings. Stewart’s wife Penny Lancaster posted the clip on Instagram, which the singer has since blamed on a misunderstanding of a Game of Thrones reference.
In the 15-second video, shot when the singer brought his tour to Abu Dhabi, Stewart is seen pretending to make a slicing motion along a kneeling man’s neck, The Guardian reports.
Soon after, Stewart was accused of playfully recreating the Jihadi John beheading videos. However, the singer claimed in a statement that Game of Thrones inspired the gag; the HBO series’ notorious “Red Wedding” scene features similar throat-slicing, but not the kneeling or desert setting that the Jihadi John videos contained.
“From re-enacting the Beatles’ Abbey Road crossing to spontaneously playing out Game Of Thrones, we were simply larking about pre-show,” Stewart said. “Understandably, this has been misinterpreted and I send my deepest apologies to those who have been offended.”
Lancaster has since deleted the controversial video off Instagram. The caption for the video read “Rod Stewart (leader) band doing a ‘Beatles’ sand dune crossing.”
Stewart and Cyndi Lauper will embark on a joint North American summer tour in July.