Gene Simmons Says Immigrants Should 'Learn To Speak Goddamn English'
By Zach Seemayer
Legendary rocker Gene Simmons' views on immigration may surprise you.
The KISS musician was born Chaim Witz in 1949 in Israel and immigrated to America with his mother when he was nine years old. When he arrived in the the U.S., he spoke no English, but quickly picked up the language and took on a variety of odd jobs until he co-founded KISS in 1973.
Now, over five decades after coming to the America, the 64-year-old has some strong words of advice: "Learn to speak goddamn English."
On Monday, Simmons sat down for an interview with HuffPost Live to promote his band's upcoming tour. However, the conversation quickly veered into a diatribe about immigration.
"You have an inferred fiduciary duty to learn how to speak English," said Simmons, recounting his own experience with coming to the country. "Get rid of your accent. I did. Be a legal immigrant. I'm a legal immigrant… make the effort to learn the culture. Assimilate to the point that you can."
When pressed by HuffPost Live host Ricky Camilleri, who said that Simmons had "opened a can of worms," the music icon stuck by his statements.
"I'm actually saying the thing that needs to be said," Simmons argued. "Because the politically correct climate is bulls**t… you don't want to upset anybody by saying, 'Learn to speak goddamn English.' So, as an immigrant, I'm telling you, learn to speak goddamn English. It is the key that will unlock the keys to the kingdom. If you make the effort, then all the possibilities of this culture will open up for you, and give you all the rewards that I've gotten."
That's not the only time Gene Simmons has said something controversial, watch the video below to see why KISS refused to play at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony: