Artist News

Diiv bassist criticised over “toxic” 4chan posts

By | Published on Tuesday 16 December 2014

Devin Ruben Perez

The bassist in American band Diiv, one Devin Ruben Perez, is facing widespread disdain (not least from the rest of Diiv) over a series of “toxic” comments he made via online community 4chan.

A Tumblr blog titled ‘Sexism In Music’ yesterday reprinted several of the posts credited to a ‘Devin-Chan’ that featured racist, homophobic and misogynist language. For instance, he called Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves a “bitch”, before adding: “She’s really fucking mean. I never did anything to her and she’s always looking for ways to attack me and my friends, like a rabid FEMALE DOG”.

Perez also repeatedly drops various racial and gay slurs, even making an anti-Semitic joke, and calling bass producer Zomby a “nigger”. He later ‘clarified’: “I honestly don’t regret saying any of the stuff that I did. No fucks given at all. It was all the truth really. I do regret calling Zomby a nigger (I’m part black anyway) and going off with that Burnstein goyim joke but I guess I was in 100% 4chan lingo mode”.

Diiv lead singer Zachary Cole Smith was quick to state that he does not condone any of Perez’s remarks, tweeting: “I will never EVER tolerate sexism, racism, homophobia, bullying, or bigotry of any kind. I’m doing everything to get to the bottom of this”, and adding of the word “bitch”: “Yes, I understand it is 4chan ‘lingo’. But everybody who types that word knows what it really means and how much violence is attached to it”.

Since the controversy showed no sign of dying down, a rep for the band also released a statement (part apology, part tirade against 4chan) via Pitchfork that read: “Cole and Devin are discussing what happened and his future in the band. Devin acknowledges what he did is very wrong. 4chan is a poisonous place. It’s the bowels of the internet. A place where Devin lost sight of what’s remotely appropriate and what isn’t”.

The statement went on: “But regardless of the context, what Devin said is inexcusable. It will not be tolerated in the band or anywhere. But ultimately Cole and Devin are very close friends so this is a very hard thing for him to swallow, seeing such unexpected behaviour like this from such a close friend. It is not being tolerated and is being dealt with right now”.