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Should Rammstein Be Banned?

There are perfectly good reasons to deplore the popular German band’s act, just as there are good reasons why postwar German taboos should not be dismantled so lightly, even if only in a heavy-metal burlesque. But whether the art should be banned because of the behavior of its creator is another matter.

BERLIN – Since the end of May, a #MeToo scandal has rocked the German media. Several women have accused Till Lindemann, the burly, leather-clad, 60-year-old lead singer of the heavy-metal rock group Rammstein, of various forms of sexual abuse.

An Irish fan named Shelby Lynn claims that she was drugged backstage and “groomed” for sex. Others have spoken of unwanted sexual encounters, which they were too intimidated to refuse. There has been talk of an infamous “row zero,” near the stage at live performances, from which young women, including Lynn, were allegedly recruited for Lindemann’s gratification after the show.

How much of this is true is being investigated by Berlin state prosecutors. Lindemann’s former wife avowed that her ex-husband was always unfailingly kind to women. And Lynn later reiterated that he had not touched her.