State Dept. pulls plug on Andrew WK’s Bahrain invitation

Very official. via Andrew WK

UPDATE: As we predicted, Andrew WK will not be traveling to Bahrain as any sort of cultural ambassador. It turns out that the rocker merely had an invitation to speak—but even that was revoked because it didn’t pass muster with the State Department.

A State Department spokesperson told us the following: “Andrew WK had been invited by the US Embassy in Bahrain to be part of a cultural speakers program, but upon further review, the program was canceled because it did not meet the standards of the State Department.”

We don’t yet know why the appearance was canceled—or who had the notion to invite him—but it’s clear that Andrew WK will not now be Bahrain’s “Cultural Ambassador of Partying,” as he wrote on his web site, and was never going to be exactly that in the first place. Nor will Andrew WK be sent to the Middle East “in the tradition of the American Jazz Ambassadors” from the 1960s, as he also proclaimed on his site.

WK has issued a Twitter reaction, and seems pretty floored by the way things have unfolded.

His web site promises a comment on the situation soon.

Our original post below:


Andrew WK is a lot of things: king of partying, party businessman, excellent partier and friend to children and animals. He’s also apparently really good at punking the internet, since a single unsourced blog post announcing his appointment to be a cultural ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain was reblogged today by everyone from Pitchfork to NME to the Huffington Post to Fox News to Vulture and everyone on your Facebook feed. But wait — why does every single news story about this link back to either Andrew WK’s own web site or the other news stories about it?

Because it’s a hoax!

Here’s what The Huffington Post wrote:

“This is a tremendous invitation,” W.K. said in a statement on his website. “I’m very thankful to the Department of State for giving me the opportunity to visit a place I’ve never been before. And I feel very privileged and humbled by the chance to represent the United States of America and show the good people of Bahrain the power of positive partying. I can hardly wait for this adventure!”

The performer’s website reports that W.K. will visit the Middle East “to promote partying and positive power.” The story also explains that “Andrew will begin his journey the first week of December, 2012 and will visit elementary schools, the University of Bahrain, music venues, and more, all while promoting partying and world peace.”

But really, Andrew WK? The guy whose first album had a cover photo of his face drenched in blood? The guy who said “piss yourself” as a party tip? Who made a video called “Yoga Til You Puke?” And the State Dept. is sending him in an official capacity to Bahrain, an autocratic Middle Eastern kingdom where shari’a law rules? A country fresh off a bloody, repressed rebellion?

No one thought that maybe this wasn’t exactly sending Duke Ellington’s orchestra to the Middle East?

The State Department’s website makes no mention of Andrew WK at all. So we called the agency’s press office, where a communications staffer told us that she hadn’t heard anything about Andrew WK or his new post. She said she’d call back on Monday morning when she found out more. We’ll pass along any information we get. For now, we may be going out on a limb here, but let us be the first to tell you: This is not happening.

But hey, he’ll still always be an ambassador for Bushwick.

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