Five for Fighting frontman John Ondrasik spoke out against censorship on Monday during an appearance on “America’s Newsroom” after YouTube temporarily removed and then reinstated a music video of his song “Blood on my Hands,” which criticized the U.S. for its handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
“It seems that freedom of expression only matters when the censorship applies to our side, our tribal team,” Ondrasik told co-host, Dana Perino. “If it’s criticizing somebody that’s on our side, well so what, censorship. It’s all political.”
Ondrasik went on to say that bringing attention to the American citizens and allies left behind, the children sold for food, the lesbians and gays who have been murdered, and the women who have had their rights stripped away was not a political message, but rather a moral one.
He also took aim at celebrities and human rights activists that “stand on their soapboxes and preach about their moral compassion” while remaining silent on the abuses occurring within Afghanistan as a result of U.S. indifference and complicity.
“Frankly none of them stood up for me when YouTube took my video down. Their silence I think speaks loudly, and it makes you wonder if the whole thing’s an act.”
The video, which used real-world footage depicting atrocities by the Taliban and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, was reportedly flagged as having violated YouTube’s “graphic content policy.”
Once the video gained traction, Ondrasik claimed YouTube removed the video, citing issues with its graphic imagery, despite other similar videos of Taliban atrocities existing on the tech platform. Roughly nine hours after the songwriter tweeted about his video having been removed, YouTube reinstated it. The platform added a warning that the video could be “inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.”
“This was our mistake, and we’ve reinstated your video. So sorry this happened, and thanks for being patient while we worked this out,” Team YouTube said on Twitter, followed by a prayer hands emoji.
The singer-songwriter added that the flip-flop by YouTube was perplexing and probably would have never occurred without a national outcry to reinstate the video.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.