OFFICIAL STATEMENT: Andrew Shares Facts From His Side Of State Dept. Controversy
November, 27th, 2012, New York City - The U.S. Department of State has officially rescinded their invitation that would have had Andrew W.K. represent the United States as a Cultural Ambassador. As covered by such outlets as The Washington Post, Pitchfork, Time Magazine, FOX News, Huffington Post, Gawker and many others, W.K. was formally invited by the State Dept. to visit Bahrain as a Cultural Ambassador to The Middle East, promoting music, freedom, and positive party power. The trip was to take place the week of December 2nd, 2012. Only days before W.K.’s scheduled journey, the State Dept. pulled the plug and canceled all of Andrew’s Middle Eastern events. According to The DCist, a State Department spokesperson said that W.K. had indeed been invited, but that they changed their mind after deciding it was “a mistake” and that Andrew’s message of positive partying was “not the best choice and didn't meet our standards.”
In addition to being a rock ‘n’ roll musician, and earning his well-deserved title “King of Partying”, W.K. is also an in-demand motivational speaker. He has been chosen in recent years to deliver motivational speeches at Harvard, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, Northeastern University, Hollins University, University of Michigan, Concordia College, SXSW, CMJ and a My Little Pony convention in Ohio, among others. He has also worked extensively on television, hosting several series, including the very successful children’s game show, Destroy Build Destroy, for multiple seasons on the Cartoon Network.
Commenting on this latest turn with the State Dept., W.K. said:
“I’m disappointed and puzzled by their change of heart and last minute decision. I was personally invited to take this trip by The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain over a year ago. They came to me. The first email they sent me is dated September 13th, 2011 asking me to give a motivational lecture in Bahrain. I was overjoyed and accepted their invitation immediately. We moved forward and completed their extensive approval process, background check, booked all the flights and travel, and had numerous phone calls with the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Office in Manama, Bahrain, who were handling the details. I was scheduled to fly to Bahrain on Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2012. We received our official itinerary from the State Dept. at 5:58am, on Monday, November 26th, 2012. Less than six hours later, we received an urgent telephone call informing us that the entire trip had been canceled, due to some higher level controversy. We couldn’t get any more information or answers as to why this was suddenly canceled at the last minute. When I was originally invited by our contact, it seemed everyone was aware of what I stand for with my positive attitude. They were aware of how I look and my high-energy rock music. They were excited to bring my message of living life to the fullest to the people in the Middle East. I was thrilled at the opportunity to represent my country and the spirit of inclusive and open-minded freedom that makes our nation so special and inspiring. So, for a Department of State representative to say Andrew W.K. ‘doesn’t meet their standards’ after they invited me and planned my trip for a year… well, that doesn’t meet my standards either. You can’t judge a book by its cover. I would’ve done a great job and represented our nation with dignity and pride. Despite all these challenges, I still would love to go and I vow to continue partying, and working everyday to to unite our human race through the power of positive partying.”
Top media outlets covering Andrew's Statement:
The New York Times - "Andrew W.K.'s Bahrain Trip Is Canceled."
Rolling Stone - "US Nixes Andrew W.K.'s Middle East Ambassador Trip."
The Washington Post - "Andrew W.K.: 'I Would Have Done A Great Job.'"
Democracy Now! - "U.S. Cancels Bahrain Trip By Andrew W.K."
Artist Direct - "Andrew W.K. Named Cultural Ambassador To Middle East, But..."
exclaim.ca - "The Week In Comments: Andrew W.K."
SFGate - "Andrew W.K. No Longer Ambassador Material."
Entertainment Tell - "Andrew W.K.: The Party's Over."
Clash Music - "Andrew W.K.'s Trip To Bahrain Has Been Pulled."
Newser - "Party Rocker Loses Bahrain Ambassador Gig."
National Post - "Andrew W.K. Isn't Going To The Middle East, But Here's Who Should."
Broward Palm Beach New Times - "5 Political Roles Andrew W.K. Should Be Appointed To Next."
This news item was posted on: November 27, 2012