Rarely one to avoid a controversy throughout his bizarro career, shock rocker Marilyn Manson hasn't dealt with anything quite like the troublesome turmoil that went down on February 1. Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood, who was temporarily engaged to Manson more than a decade ago, publicly accused the musician of patterned physical and mental abuse during their relationship, which inspired a handful of other women to also speak out about their own allegedly abusive experiences with him in years past. The effects on Manson's music and TV career were swift, and rather than speak through legal representation, he directly responded to the allegations.
Taking to Instagram to offer up his side of things – and perhaps wisely making sure to turn comments off of the post – Marilyn Manson said the following:
Obviously, my art and my life have long been magnets for controversy, but these recent claims about me are horrible distortions of reality. My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how – and why – others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.
Marilyn Manson didn't name Evan Rachel Wood (or any of his other accusers) in his response, similar to the way the actress went years talking about an abusive relationship without name-checking Manson as the other partner. It's unclear what the next step will be for the rock star at this point, though, since merely refuting the multiple accusations to his fanbase likely won't get him back all the gigs he lost throughout the day.
After Evan Rachel Wood's statement came out in the morning, it seemed likely that Marilyn Manson's career would be affected in some way, and it wasn't very long before action was taken. First, his now-former record label Lorna Vista Recordings removed Manson and his albums from its website – he'd just put out his latest release WE ARE CHAOS with them on September 11, 2020 –and then released the following statement according to Billboard:
In light of today’s disturbing allegations by Evan Rachel Wood and other women naming Marilyn Manson as their abuser, Loma Vista will cease to further promote his current album, effective immediately. Due to these concerning developments, we have also decided not to work with Marilyn Manson on any future projects.
After that, a Starz representative announced that Marilyn Manson would be edited out of an upcoming Season 3 episode of American Gods, which seemingly can't avoid seasonal controversies. On the fantasy drama, Manson had a small recurring role as Johan Wengren, the blood-thirsty lead singer of the Viking death metal band Blood Death. He'd already appeared in two previous episodes, including the one that aired the night before Evan Rachel Wood's allegations went public. It's unclear if those scenes will remain in the episodes for future airings and home entertainment releases.
Marilyn Manson, who has also appeared in such shows as Salem and Sons of Anarchy, was also set to take on a guest-starring role in Greg Nicotero's Creepshow anthology series on the Shudder streaming service. However, AMC Networks confirmed that the segment he appeared in will be replaced when that episode is released. (Probably a good thing that he wasn't ever added into The Stand adaptation on CBS All Access.)
This wasn't the first time that Marilyn Manson – real name Brian Warner – has been the subject of disturbing allegations. In 2018, a police report was filed against him alleging crimes of a sexual nature going back to 2011. However, the LAPD didn't pursue the case due to the absence of corroborated evidence, as well as the statute of limitations having expired at that point.