On January 1st 2014 the BBC World News programme ‘Hardtalk‘ chose to broadcast a re-run of an interview with Roger Waters which was originally aired in September 2013 and has now been shown a total of a dozen times.
At around six minutes into the programme, presenter Stephen Sackur says:
“And perhaps the strongest reaction you’ve got is from people who see some of the imagery – and in particular the imagery on that inflatable pig, which is a central part of the show…”
“Here we go..”
Sackur: “..see it as anti-Israeli and some say antisemitic.”
Waters: “Well this is…has become an old chestnut now because this whole question of this particular pig which appears in the second half of the show when I am playing the part of a fascist demagogue – or any kind of extremist demagogue if you like – is satire and it’s recognized as being that. This record has been out there with the lyrics that are contained in the work, which are part of the narrative, for – as you say – since 1979. So, the use of different symbols on the pig – which include the Star of David, the crucifix, crescent and star, the dollar sign, the hammer and sickle and all kinds of other symbols that ..emm..I felt were relevant when we were designing the show – have been there as part of the show since 2010.”
However, an Israeli who attended Waters’ show in July 2013 had a different experience:
“I came to the concert because I really like his music, without any connection to his political stance toward Israel,” says Alon Onfus Asif, an Israeli living in Belgium. “And I had a lot of fun, until I noticed the Star of David, on the inflatable pig. That was the only religious-national symbol which appeared among other symbols for fascism, dictatorships and oppression of people.
See if you can find any other religious-national symbols in this footage from the show.
Here is what Waters told ‘Billboard’ in December 2013: [emphasis added]
“Waters says a new set of pigs were built for the South America leg of the tour and the Star of David was one of the symbols added to them. “Since then, because of the complaints from some of the Jewish community, we’ve added a crucifix and star-crescent,” Waters says.”
In other words, the claim made by Waters in the September 2013 interview with Sackur – according to which the symbols of Christianity and Islam were presented alongside the Star of David on the inflatable pig from the very beginning of the tour – was apparently not verified by the Hardtalk production team before the initial or numerous repeat broadcasts of this programme.