On Sunday night’s Tony Awards, everyone was laughing after a descending set piece clocked Bret Michaels in the head . Host Neil Patrick Harris even cracked that the incident “gave headbanging a new meaning.” The following day, as footage of the mishap became an Internet sensation, even more people were laughing.
But it seems that there was one group of people that didn’t find the situation hilarious: the Poison frontman’s representatives.
In a lengthy statement released late Tuesday to MTV News, those reps blasted the Tonys for dismissing the incident, and put the blame for Michael’s injuries squarely on a “lack of communication” between the “Rock of Love” star and “the producers, directors, stage managers and crew” of the awards show.
“I find it surprising that a Tony spokesperson would brush off this incident with a comment stating ’Mr. Michaels missed his mark’ with no mention of concern for his condition,” spokesperson Janna Elias says in the statement. “If everyone at the Tonys [was] aware that Bret missed his mark, then they should have been aware enough to stop the set piece from hitting him or at least slowed it down until he cleared the stage. I feel had this incident happened to Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton or Elton John, the Tonys would have at least issued a letter of concern.
“Bret has performed live, with Poison or solo, for over 20 years and on a daily basis is around pyro, lasers and a moving light show. He understands that there is always an element of risk in any live performance, but Bret entrusts his safety to the crew, whose job it is to make sure the show goes off without a hitch,” the statement continues. “However, in this situation Bret was not on his stage but was at the mercy of the Tonys. He was performing on the Tonys stage and had the reasonable expectation that that safety of the artist was a priority, and at no time did he do anything over-the-top or outlandish that would have put himself or others in a dangerous situation.”
Ripping Tony host Harris for his comments following the accident — he joked that Michaels was fine and was doing shots backstage — the statement refutes reports that after being injured, the singer was laughing, joking and planning to hit the Tony Awards afterparties.
“We realize the show is live and must go on, however, it is unfortunate that the show’s host made light of the situation without having any knowledge of the severity of Bret’s injuries,” Bob Wallerstein, another rep for Michaels added. “Comments that Mr. Harris was doing shots backstage with Mr. Michaels and that Bret was completely fine were untrue, considering Bret never saw Mr. Harris prior to, during or after the Tonys, but in fact was being attended to by medical personnel backstage. Michaels did not return to the stage, the seats nor attend any afterparties.”
The statement concludes by saying that Michaels will release a statement of his own about the incident by the end of the week.
At press time, a rep for the Tonys had not granted MTV News’ request for comment.