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Neil Young banned from radio station after controversial comments

Neil Young banned from radio station after controversial comments

Neil Young during a July concert. Photo: Associated Press

Veteran rocker Neil Young has been banned from the airwaves of a local Canadian radio station after he compared the region to the Japanese city of Hiroshima in the aftermath of the 1945 atomic bomb blast.

Fort McMurray radio station Rock 97.9 will no longer play Young’s music after he made the controversial comment about the Alberta area while talking about the controversial Keystone X-L Pipeline project during a news conference in Washington, D.C. this week.

Young is fiercely opposed to plans to transport oil from Fort McMurray all the way down to Texas, and he claims the area has been wrecked by pollution, saying, “The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima. There’s fumes everywhere. You can smell it when you get to town.”

Rock 97.9 host Chris Byrne claims the station has been swamped with complaints about Young’s comments, which prompted bosses to removed the rocker from their playlists.

He says, “Rock listeners are pretty apathetic people. It takes a lot to get their ire up. But based on the number of emails and voice mails that I’ve gotten, I don’t think… a topic… has caused more people to call in or write in than this… To (put) Fort McMurray on the same level as a nuclear bomb, dropped to end a world war – when you get to that extreme, you kind of have to get into specifics.”

The city of Hiroshima was devastated by a nuclear blast in 1945 when American forces dropped the world’s first atomic bomb there in a bid to end World War II.

Around 80,000 residents were killed in the blast, and thousands more later died from radiation poisoning.

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