James Hetfield, Metallica’s lead singer, being seen near a brown bear that he allegedly shot and killed is a misidentified photograph. Rather, the heavy metal vocalist had been falsely identified in a photograph amid 2014 protests over his involvement with a History Channel show. Unfortunately, this misattribution resulted in confusion among Hetfield’s fans and left him subject to criticism.
Where did this photograph originate? Richard Fraser, creator of the “Remove Metallica from Glastonbury” Facebook page, posted the mislabeled photograph as part of his effort to have Hetfield removed from the 2014 lineup of the Glastonbury Music Festival based upon his hunting background.
In an interview with News Radio on June 4, 2014, Fraser said his protest was against Hetfield who was providing narration for “The Hunt,” which is an eight-episode series that documents one of the most dangerous pursuits known to man. A description of the show reads:
Bear hunting on Kodiak goes back millennia, tracing back to the early Alutiiq people who sought these enormous creatures to provide food and raw materials. Today, the bear hunt remains a cultural fixture on Kodiak and is crucial to the delicate natural balance on the island. Strictly regulated by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, every year thousands of hunters apply for one of 496 tags that are given via a lottery system.
Fraser said his campaign was against big game hunting and Hetfield’s involvement in “The Hunt.” He said, “This is not hunting for the table, for food or survival. Bear meat can be eaten but it rarely is. Nor is hunting for conservation although its supporters say it is. The Kodiak Bear Hunt is done using “traditional” methods, long/compound bow and Black Powder single shot rifles.”
Here were some reactions on social media to people believing that Hetfield was in the photo.
James Hetfield has killed a bear as a trophy. I love Metallica but him killing a bear isn’t going to make me stop listening to them. I really hate what he’s done but i can’t change it and boycotting their music isn’t going to bring the bear back or make him stop killing.
— Ellie. (@LauraAnn_x) February 18, 2018
Wonderful! But you killed a bear… I don’t like this. Although your voice and your music is fantastic. I knew the new this afternoon, and you, James Hetfield has disappointed me.
— Annamaria.G (@annamareka) February 14, 2018
However, Snopes reported that Hetfield was not the man posing with the brown bear. Rather, that site’s research determined that author and hunting enthusiast Doug Giles had posted the photo of himself alongside one of Hetfield on his own web site, ClashDaily.com, which led to the confusion.
Giles is the author of the book “RISE, KILL AND EAT: A Theology of Hunting from Genesis to Revelation.” Again, Giles posted an article about Hetfield’s narration on the bear hunting documentary and alongside the article they published an image of two photos side by side.
The whereabouts of photograph have Giles being in Prince William Sound, Alaska, for the hunt. Snopes also noted that Hetfield confirmed that he was a member of the National Rifle Association.
In other Metallica news, BBC reported that the band is being honored with Sweden’s Polar Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in music. The band is best known for 1991’s Black Album and redefining the sound of metal with a tougher, faster and more abrasive take on rock.
What did you think of the photograph being falsely attributed to Hetfield as being the hunter behind a dead brown bear? Did you believe that it was really the Metallica singer behind the bear or see people sharing it falsely on social media? Let us know in the comments section.
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Author: Shawn Rice