roger waters mark zuckerberg
© AFP/Alberto Pizzoli; AFP/Josh Edelson
(L) Roger Waters (R) Mark Zuckerberg
Musician Roger Waters has said he has informed Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in no uncertain terms that he is rejecting the social media mogul's request to use one his songs in an ad campaign for Instagram.

Speaking at a forum supporting jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Waters, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, said that Zuckerberg offered him "a huge amount of money" to use his classic 1979 track Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2).

He was defiant in his rejection of Zuckerberg's request, branding the businessman an "idiot" as he accused him of "preventing" Assange's story from "getting out to the general public."


In a video dated June 10, which was shared on Twitter by Mexico's La Jornada on Saturday, the rocker pulled out a sheet of paper, as he said: "This is something that I actually put in my folder when I came out here today.

"You have no idea what it is — nobody does — because it arrived on the internet to me this morning. It's a request for the rights to use my song, 'Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2),' in the making of a film to promote Instagram."

After his revelation drew laughter from the crowd, Waters went on: "So it's a missive from Mark Zuckerberg to me... with an offer of a huge, huge amount of money and the answer is, 'f*** you! No f***ing way!

"And I only mention that because it's the insidious movement of them to take over absolutely everything. So those of us who do have any power, and I do have a little bit — in terms of control of the publishing of my songs I do anyway. So I will not be a party to this bull****, Zuckerberg."

Reading out a portion of the letter allegedly written by the Facebook co-founder, Waters said: "We want to thank you for considering this project. We feel that the core sentiment of this song is still so prevalent and necessary today, which speaks to how timeless a work [it is]."

"It's true, and yet they want to sojourn it," Waters said. "They want to use it to make Facebook and Instagram even bigger and more powerful than it already is, so that it can continue to censor all of us in this room and prevent this story about Julian Assange getting out to the general public..."

He added: "You think, how did this little pr***, who started off going, 'She's pretty, we'll give her a 4 out of 5, she's ugly, we'll give her a 1.' How the f*** did he get any power in anything? And yet here he is, one of the most powerful idiots in the world."

In February 2020, Waters joined hundreds of protestors — including designer Vivienne Westwood — to demand the release of Assange as they marched through the streets of central London.

He told the U.K.'s Sky News at the time: "I am representing the thoughts of ordinary people who believe in the law, freedom, and the freedom of the press and free speech."

Since April 2019, Assange has been held in the high-security Belmarsh prison in the U.K., after being forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London to face U.S. extradition charges.

Australian-born Assange had spent seven years in the embassy where he sought diplomatic asylum as he faced alleged sexual offense charges in Sweden.

He has long maintained that the Swedish charges were little more than a ruse for U.S. intelligence officials to capture and extradite him to the U.S.

U.S. prosecutors allege 17 charges under the Espionage Act against the former Wikileaks boss in addition to one charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion — charges that could see him face up to 175 years in prison, if convicted.

In January 2021, a British judge denied a U.S. request to extradite Assange, stating his "mental health would deteriorate causing him to commit suicide with the 'single minded determination' of his autism spectrum disorder."

During Joe Biden's recently concluded trip to the U.K. for the G7 Summit, a group of British MPs wrote to the president, urging him to drop extradition attempts, according to the Evening Standard.

They said in the open letter:
"The effect of your predecessor's decision to take a criminal case against a member of the press working in our country is to restrict the scope of permissible press activities here, and set a precedent that others will no doubt exploit.

"The case against Mr. Assange weakens the right to publish important information that the government finds uncomfortable. Indeed, this value is central to a free and open society.

"The case against Mr. Assange also undermines public confidence in our legal systems. Our countries are also increasingly confronted with the contradiction of advocating for press freedom abroad while holding Mr. Assange for years in the U.K.'s most notorious prison at the request of the U.S. government.

"We appeal to you to drop this prosecution, an act that would be a clarion call for freedom that would echo around the globe."
Newsweek has contacted representatives for Mark Zuckerberg and Roger Waters for further comment.