Ted Nugent’s 1975 hit, “Stranglehold,” is now available for download in Rock Band 4‘s music store, although the outspoken artist’s reputation is creating issues within the game’s fanbase due to his political beliefs.
Nugent, a political conservative, was criticized for his strong opinions in a Reddit thread discussing this week’s DLC. The 68-year-old musician previously threatened Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2007, called jobless immigrants “bloodsuckers,” and blamed gun control legislation for mass shootings.
Nugent’s stances, particularly on gun control, have changed after the June 14 shooting that injured U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The muscian said he would not “engage in that kind of hateful rhetoric anymore” and called for political leaders to be more “civil.”
Reddit users posted their disapproval of Nugent’s Rock Band debut, even feeling betrayed since the track is part of the current season pass. The thread’s comments on Nugent overshadow the week’s other release, Catfish and the Bottlemen’s “Postpone.”
One user, robocord, wrote they were “really annoyed that [Nugent]’s being lumped in the season pass,” and that they “feel a bit “tricked” into giving money to a raging [expletive].” Money was a trend with commenters, with some users, such as philthegr81, wishing for a partial refund on the season pass due to Nugent’s inclusion in the bundle.
People’s disapproval can also be found on Twitter, where users replied to the Rock Band account recalling some of Nugent’s actions and shaming Harmonix for licensing the song. Again, players are saying they will not purchase the song since they see downloading the track as supporting Nugent.
Ted Nugent is a truly horrible person & I'm surprised you would contribute to putting money in his pockets by releasing this. Disappointed.
— Matthew DiPierro (@MatthewDiPierro) August 30, 2017
Other social media users are taking a different stance, either purchasing the tune or calling for others to set aside their judgment. Reddit user ABarkingCow suggested that music should be appreciated and viewed separately from political beliefs, though a reply pointed out how unrealistic such a suggestion may be.
“Stranglehold,” along with Catfish and the Bottlemen’s “Postpone,” are available on the PlayStation and Xbox stores for $1.99 each.