The Daily Mail has defended its coverage of the “emo” movement after fans of the rock band My Chemical Romance protested about stories describing them as a “suicide cult”.
In a statement the paper claimed its coverage has been “balanced, restrained and above all, in the public interest”, and blamed comments and blogs following the announcement of the protest for misrepresenting the paper’s coverage.
The statement said: “Since this protest was announced a great deal of misinformation has appeared on the internet, much of which confuses what the Daily Mail has actually published with the comments of website readers and blogs over which we have no control and which have stirred up emotions.”
The Mail also suggest those who want to protest or comment “read everything we have published and act on fact not rumour”.
The protest, which saw around 40 fans gather outside the paper’s office and a further group of around 200 gather in Marble Arch, was sparked by a series of articles the Daily Mail published in the aftermath of the suicide of a 13-year-old My Chemical Romance fan, Hannah Bond.
The coroner made comments at her inquest criticising emo’s influence in her death, and one Daily Mail piece claimed that “no child is safe from the sinister cult of emo”.
The Daily Mail said that “genuine concerns were raised at the inquest: and that the coroner found “the emo overtones concerning death and associating it with glamour very disturbing”.
The protesting fans organised the peaceful protest to raise awareness of what they claim is the band’s “anti-suicide message”. They filled the street with placards and banners carrying slogans including: “I’m Not Afraid To Keep On Living” and “We’re Not A Cult, We’re An Army – The MCRMY”.
The Mail said that Bond’s mother had told the inquest that Hannah had been obsessed with My Chemical Romance, whose hit number one on their last album was called The Black Parade.
Bond told the court: “In emo it is a very glamorous death to hang yourself. The band she was into, the music she was into, the whole thing is based on the black parade which is all about dying.
“She called emo a fashion and I thought it was normal. I didn’t know about the cuts.”
Her father said he had seen cuts on her wrists and his daughter had told him they “were an emo initiation”.
The Mail defended its coverage, and said that it ran an accurate news story recording the coroner’s remarks and the parents comments, and said it also published two other articles, one of which “explained the background to the Hannah tragedy in calm and unsensational language”.
The Mail said that the paper’s music critic “admires the music of the band” and publicised the band’s UK tour last year.
The paper also pointed out that the protest was timely for the band as it “provides wonderful publicity for Warners and their impending release of My Chemical Romance’s latest album”.