In recent years, it seems like Gene Simmons insists on making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The KISS frontman has made a series of contentious statements about everything from Hip-Hop to the sensitive topic of depression. Whether you agree with his public, and often unsolicited, opinions, it would be difficult to deny that saying things like, “I am looking forward to the death of rap..." (NME) and "I’m the guy who says ‘jump’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, ‘that’s it, I can’t take it anymore," (NME) is highly controversial.

So when I logged onto Twitter this morning and saw that Gene Simmons was trending, I immediately assumed the worst. "What is it this time?" I thought to myself, "Did he say something racist? Homophobic? Or even Xenophobic?" Against my better judgment — but ultimately for your reading pleasure — I clicked anyway and followed the long and twisted trail of furious tweets.

Rock & Roll? ASL? Or something much older?

Simmons claims that the iconic Hand Gesture was first used by him in November of 1974, during the Hotter Than Hell tour. However, it seems as though a few artists had already beat him to the punch, effectively voiding any possible claims of invention.

Oddly enough, the mutant-tongued singer managed to completely overlook John Lennon's use of the sign on the cover of The Beatles' 1968's Yellow Submarine movie, or a similar gesture on Coven's 1969 cover for the album Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls.

He offended the deaf

Outside of angering countless music fans, he managed to offend the deaf community as well. This is due to the fact that the gesture widely associated with Rock music is also the official ASL (American Sign Language) sign for "I love you." America's Next Top Model Cycle 22 winner and deaf model/actor/activist Nyle DiMarco weighed in on Twitter:

"1) That's 'I love you' in ASL cuz the thumb's out

2) Even w/ thumbs in, there's another meaning

And ASL's been here for hundreds of years"

Even farther back than that, it's known that the gesture — and other similar to it — has been used in Asian and Mediterranean cultures for thousands of years.

In those contexts, it was mostly used as a tool to ward off bad luck and negative energy. It is also seen as an offensive gesture in many Latin countries, much like the middle finger in the West.

So far, Gene Simmons himself has yet to publicly comment on the backlash his latest stunt has attracted. However, I think it's simply a matter of time before he comes out to defend his latest stunt.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more