Whip out your 2020 bingo sheets friends, because we’ve got a hell of a doozy for you this morning. Zac Hanson (the youngest of the brotherly band, Hanson) has admitted that a Pinterest account that shared racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, and pro-gun memes belonged to him. Time to take those Mmmbop era posters down off the walls, mates.
Dubbed ‘HansonGate’ on Reddit, images of the now-deleted Pinterest account were leaked and sent around as people did some very good Internet sleuthing to figure out that the account – which had the username ‘Commanding Officer’ – was tied to the 35-year-old Hanson drummer.
Screenshots of the account were posted on Imgur in June, showing comments from ‘Commanding Officer’ supporting anti-trans and pro-gun posts (with some comments signed off with ‘Z’) and filling their own pinboard with images and memes supporting the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms), supporting Brexit, criticising Hillary Clinton, and disagreeing with gun control.
The account’s boards of pins include sections like ‘gun control’, ‘SBR (Short Barreled Rifles)’, ‘Stand Your Ground’ mixed in with things like ‘For The Home’ ‘Motorcycle Gear’ and ‘JuneBug’ (assumed inspiration and ideas for Zac’s 10-year-old daughter, Junia Rosa Ruth Hanson).
The Pinterest was just one cog in the larger HansonGate machine, which has developed over 2020 with the band’s silence on the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the brothers’ conflicting politics. The band eventually broke their silence on George Floyd on June 8 with a post on Instagram, two weeks after his death.
If you wanna read a good timeline of HansonGate, there’s a great rundown over on Reddit.
This week, Vice reported on a statement Zac sent them via email, which included an apology of sorts. He said that the posts on that account were “a distorted view of the issues surrounding race and social justice” which apparently don’t reflect his personal beliefs. He then said he apologises for “the hurt my actions caused”.
Stereogum has also reported that after the HansonGate stuff came to a head this week and Zac issued his apology, a subreddit called ‘PostHanson‘ has emerged online, for fans – some of whom have been lifelong Hanson stans – are now reckoning with the fact that their faves are not the innocent kids the world met back in 1997.