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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame President Accuses Kiss’ Paul Stanley of Being ‘Borderline Racist’

Paul Stanley Joel Peresman
Kevin Winter / Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

We’ve gotten used to the members of Kiss bashing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but now the Hall is fighting back. In a new interview, its President and CEO, Joel Peresman, comes very close to accusing Paul Stanley of racism.

Speaking to Radio.com about this year’s induction ceremony, Peresman praised Gene Simmons‘ speech as being “lovely” and “actually kind of classy,” but says that Stanley has “been almost borderline racist, not in that speech, but in other interviews talking about how hip-hop artists shouldn’t be inducted because they don’t play instruments. It’s like, ‘What are you, kidding?’”

It’s unclear which Stanley interview Peresman is referring to, but Simmons has been critical of the decision to include disco and hip-hop acts in the Hall. Two months before Kiss were inducted, he told, coincidentally, Radio.com, “You go on with your bad self and get more disco artists…You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run-D.M.C. in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You’re killing me! That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing…They can run their organization any way they’d like, but it ain’t rock! It just isn’t! If you don’t play guitar and you don’t write your own songs, you don’t belong there.”

HBO will air a three-hour and 15-minute telecast of this year’s induction ceremony tonight (May 31) at 8:00PM ET/PT. You can watch some preview clips here.

Next: Top 10 Kiss Love Songs

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