The Offspring have terminated drummer Pete Parada’s contract as he has refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Parada, who joined the band in 2007, and plays on the group’s current album, Let The Bad Times Roll, revealed the news of his exit from the group in a social media post on August 2, emphasising that his reason for refusing the vaccine stems from medical advice, as his doctor told him he should not get it due to pre-existing health conditions.
He wrote: "I've got some unfortunate and difficult news to share. I know many of my close friends and family would've preferred to hear this privately first — and I apologize for the public nature of my disclosure, but I don't know how to have this conversation multiple times.
"Given my personal medical history and the side-effect profile of these jabs, my doctor has advised me not to get a shot at this time.
"I caught the virus over a year ago, it was mild for me — so I am confident I'd be able to handle it again, but I'm not so certain I'd survive another post-vaccination round of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which dates back to my childhood and has evolved to be progressively worse over my lifetime. Unfortunately for me, (and my family — who is hoping to keep me around a bit longer) the risks far outweigh the benefits.
"Since I am unable to comply with what is increasingly becoming an industry mandate — it has recently been decided that I am unsafe to be around, in the studio, and on tour. I mention this because you won't be seeing me at these upcoming shows.
"I also want to share my story so that anyone else experiencing the agony and isolation of getting left behind right now — knows they're not entirely alone.
"I have no negative feelings towards my band. They're doing what they believe is best for them, while I am doing the same. Wishing the entire OFFSPRING family all the best as they get back at it!
"I'm heartbroken not to be seeing my road community, and I will miss connecting with the fans more than I can express in words.
"While my reason for not getting this jab is medical, I want to make sure I'm not carving out a space that is only big enough for me. I need to state, unequivocally, that I support informed consent — which necessitates choice unburdened by coercion.
"I do not find it ethical or wise to allow those with the most power (government, corporations, organizations, employers) to dictate medical procedures to those with the least power.
"There are countless folks (like me) for whom these shots carry a greater risk than the virus. Most of us don't publicly share a private decision we made in careful consideration with our doctors. We know it's not an easy conversation to unfold.
"If it looks like half the population is having a shockingly different reaction to these jabs than was expected — it's probably because their life experiences have actually been shockingly different, and their reasons range from a conscientious risk/benefit analysis, to the financial inability to take time off work/lack of health care in the event of potential side-effects, to an understandable distrust in a system that has never prioritized the health or well-being of their communities.
"I hope we can learn to make room for all the perspectives and fears that are happening currently. Let's avoid the unfortunate tendency to dominate, dehumanize and shout down at each other. The hesitant population is not a monolithic group. All voices deserve to be heard.
"In the meantime, I'm in the midst of launching a project and releasing some music with my daughter, so please stay tuned for all of that. I deeply appreciate your understanding and support as my family and I find a new way forward.
"Sending love to everyone who has been impacted by this pandemic, in all the ways lives have been lost and altered."
Back in March, The Offspring posted a tweaked version of their 1994 hit single Come Out And Play on social media which included the line “You gotta go get vaccinated.”
The text of the post read: “Every time we get together, we talk about how we can't wait to get out there and play shows again. And we hear from you guys all the time, letting us know that you can't wait to go see concerts again too! But let's face it… live shows aren't gonna happen until you go get vaccinated. So we thought we'd have a little fun with one of our old songs. Check it out!”
Speaking on New York's Q104.3 about their decision to encourage fans to receive the vaccine, Dexter Holland said, “I think it's a good thing to get vaccinated, and we wanted to promote it, and so we put that out.” Guitarist Noodles added: “There's a lot of people that are skeptic for various reasons. But those of them that aren't, please go get vaccinated. Even if it's not for yourself, if it's for the old lady who lives on the corner. We think vaccinations are a good thing.”
The band have not commented publicly on their decision to fire Parada.