It Only Took a Whole Year for the Band Viet Cong to Finally Change Their Offensive Name

Viet Cong Perform At Scala In London
So much to be preoccupied with. Photo: Burak Cingi/2015 Burak Cingi

After more than a year of completely justified public condemnation, the band Viet Cong has finally changed their horribly offensive name. Going forward, they will be known as Preoccupations, as announced on Thursday. Last March, Oberlin College canceled the band’s show following outrage over the band naming themselves after the violent Vietnamese terror insurgency known for enslaving, torturing, and killing thousands of civilians during the Vietnam War. The band announced last September that they would change their name; seven months later, they actually have. “We apologize to those who were adversely affected by our former band name. This was never anticipated nor our intent,” they said in a statement. “We are artists and not politicians, we understand that the name reflected pain to some individuals and we are happy to change it and move on and focus on our music.”

Rather than leave it at that, the band’s front man, Matt Flegel, gave a candid interview to Pitchfork, in which he went to great pains to explain that they weren’t trying to be offensive; he and his bandmates really are just that unaware of history. “We were pretty naive, and pretty ignorant on the subject,” he says, apparently sincerely. Flegel also says that internet outrage wasn’t enough to get them to change the name — they had to speak with actual Vietnamese people and refugees whose lives were forever affected by the Viet Cong to take the hint. “It’s really helpful to have a face-to-face conversation with another human being that has family, or has been directly affected by something, rather than just hearsay on the internet,” he poorly reasons. So in case you’re wondering why it took them so long to change their name, sorry, they were just too preoccupied with getting woke.

The Band Viet Cong Finally Changed Their Name