Can Roger Waters be Cancelled?

Jerry Grey
4 min readJun 19, 2023


I found out recently that my wife hasn’t been paying attention to my musical tastes, for almost 20 years, I’ve been encouraging her to listen to my music and, at the same time listening to what she likes.

However, a few months ago, Roger Waters, a man who has been famous longer than most people have been alive became, for a short while the most famous English rock star in China and my wife showed me a video of him in an interview and asked me: Do you know this guy!!!

What made the songwriter, bass player, co-founder and singer of my second most favourite band, Pink Floyd suddenly famous in China was a CNN interview where he told the interviewer that Taiwan is part of China and the narrative of Uyghur oppression is nonsense. Of course, he’s right. However, he received a lot of criticism from many people who’ve never been there but who can quote many other people who’ve never been there as experts.

Over the next few weeks and months though, wherever I went in China I would hear great music, so, for me, there was an upside to it, I was pretty happy about that.

China has taken to Pink Floyd and in particular to Roger Waters as if he was one of their own. But in the west, the opposite is happening. No one is allowed to speak the truth about China, the narrative must be followed and anyone who does so, must be discredited — this is what’s happening. An insidious cancel culture is taking over.

Chris Wakeford MP, a man who wasn’t even born when Waters and Pink Floyd were as famous as the Beatles and the Rolling stones, has decided that Waters is antisemitic.

Roger Waters lost his father when he was a very young child, lost to a nazi bullet in Italy and, ever since I can remember, which is a long time, Roger Waters has been anti-war and very much anti-propaganda.

In 1979, 10 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, 30 years before the construction of the Israeli wall and 5 years before Chris Wakeford MP was born, Waters wrote the songs for one of Pink Floyd’s most enduring albums, it was anti-war, anti-propaganda and it was called the wall.

For 40 years, since that date, Waters has been performing the same act, in it people dress in Nazi style uniforms — I’ve seen his show, it’s incredible, it’s moving and it’s highly critical of the activities that take mankind to the brink of destruction.

During the performance, Waters is not just a singer, he’s an actor, and during the show we see some nazi style leather coats, not to glorify nazis but to criticise them; he’s been doing the same act for 40 years but suddenly, a few months after speaking out on China someone has interpreted his musical show in a very different way.

Media headlines are critical, his concerts have protests outside and he has received personal attacks and even threats, one of his concerts was cancelled in Germany but legal procedures through the German courts allowed it to go on. He’s made a video about this and in it he states the problem is that people believe he’s antisemitic; I disagree, I believe the real problem is that he’s pro-China.

Roger Waters is a man who has courage and he has conviction. He has a huge following which transcends generations. When he says something, many people listen. When he says something that goes against the narrative, there are people who will find something to criticise him for

Search Google, you will see hundreds of articles about the man, his music, the incredible stage shows, this is not a man who is easily cancelled.

Dig deeper to find results about his wonderful, 60-year musical career during which he’s written so many classic pieces of music that, even people who don’t know Pink Floyd or his solo career can both recognise and sing along to. Who doesn’t know “Wish you were here”, who hasn’t shouted at the top of their voice “hey, Teacher, leave those kids alone”?

We never know who “they” are, but whoever they are, they’re trying hard but unsuccessfully to cancel Roger Waters because he’s outspoken on Ukraine, he’s outspoken on Israel and he’s outspoken on China.

They can’t cancel him because of his views, that would draw too much attention to the fact that so many people are lying. What they are attempting to do is discredit him for something else.

Take it from me — the comments Roger Water made about China were not wrong. Everything else I don’t know about, but I’m sure he’s right

You can watch a video recording of this article here:



Jerry Grey

I’m British born Australian living in Guangdong and have an MA in Cross Cultural Change Management. I write mostly positively about my China experiences