Toby Keith rants about Ethan Hawke & Kris Kristofferson

Some drama was going down at the Country Music Awards on Sunday. It wasn’t country diva drama, either… unless you consider Toby Keith a diva. An argument could be made for that, actually. Anyway, Toby Keith was backstage at the Country Music Awards, talking to the press. Keith got a specific question from a reporter from the Tennessean, who asked Keith about an article Ethan Hawke wrote for Rolling Stone.

Toby lit into the reporter and Ethan Hawke about the article. The article is about music legend Kris Kristofferson, and Toby took offense to particular, unflattering story Ethan told within the article. Ethan claims that he witnessed a backstage incident in 2003 at a Willie Nelson tribute concert for his 70th birthday at the Beacon Theatre in New York, but Ethan doesn’t name Toby Keith specifically.

Ethan writes, in the Rolling Stone article, that “a country singer who had a monster hit about bombing America’s enemies back into the stone age” came up to Kris Kristofferson and told him “None of that lefty sh-t out there tonight, Kris.” Kristofferson’s reaction was, according to Ethan, to confront this country star’s non-existent military record, saying “Have you ever killed another man? Huh? Have you ever taken another man’s life and then cashed the check your country gave you for doing it? No, you have not, so shut the f-ck up. You don’t know what the hell you are talking about.”

So Toby Keith freaked out, basically. He called Ethan Hawke a liar, he called the Rolling Stone article “superficial” and he claimed that Ethan didn’t name him (Toby) because Ethan didn’t want to “deal with the aftermath”. What aftermath? Someone has change Toby’s diaper after his hissy fit?

Ethan Hawke might want to avoid crossing paths with Toby Keith in the near future.

The country star lit into the actor for an article Hawke wrote in the new issue of Rolling Stone about Kris Kristofferson. In it, Hawke refers to a blowup Kristofferson had with an unnamed country star back in 2003 that sounds a lot like Toby Keith.

But a furious Keith, speaking backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards, said it wasn’t true, and added that Hawke did not name him in the story because he did not want to face him later.

“I don’t know Ethan Hawke. Ethan Hawke wanted to do some kind of superficial Rolling Stone article. And he did everything he could to make his story the greatest story ever in Rolling Stone,” Keith said. “And it was a fictitious (expletive) lie. O.K?”

“He didn’t even call me by my name. … He called Norah Jones, Ray Charles, everybody else by name. Willie (Nelson), Kris (Kristofferson). Why didn’t he call my name? Why didn’t he say Toby Keith walked through and said this (expletive)? Right? You know why. You know why. You know as good as anybody why. He didn’t want to (expletive) deal with the aftermath.”

In the story, Hawke claimed he witnessed the confrontation backstage at Nelson’s tribute concert for his 70th birthday at the Beacon Theatre in New York. The article does not name Keith but says it was a country singer who “had a monster hit about bombing America’s enemies back into the stone age.” In 2002, Keith had the song “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)” that threatened retribution for the 9/11 attacks.

Hawke said the argument began with the “Star” telling Kristofferson: “None of that lefty (expletive) out there tonight, Kris.”

Hawke said Kristofferson then angrily confronted and asked him if he had ever served in the military.

“Have you ever killed another man? Huh? Have you ever taken another man’s life and then cashed the check your country gave you for doing it? No, you have not, so shut the (expletive) up,” Hawke recounted Kristofferson as saying. “You don’t know what the hell you are talking about.”

A spokeswoman for Hawke did not immediately return a message seeking comment. A Rolling Stone spokeswoman said that the magazine fully stands by the story and Hawke’s reporting.

Keith directed his anger Sunday not only at Hawke but at a reporter from the Tennessean who wrote about the Hawke article and asked Keith about it backstage.

Kristofferson, in a statement, said he did not recall the incident and tried to be diplomatic to all sides.

“I would like to state for the record that I am friends with Ethan Hawke, Toby Keith and Tennessean reporter Peter Cooper. Although I do not remember the events at Willie’s birthday party as reported in Rolling Stone, what does it matter?” he asked. “That was six years ago. I spoke to Ethan before I put out my statement and thanked him for the beautiful story he wrote for Rolling Stone and I also told him I did not recall the incident at Willie’s birthday party. This is the last statement I will put out about this nonsense.”

From The Huffington Post

Kris Kristofferson is so classy. I just love him, and my guess is that Ethan Hawke’s version of events in 2003 is probably pretty close to accurate. But instead of mocking the people in this situation, I’d just like to talk about Kris. Kris was an Army captain, a helicopter pilot and a Ranger. Kris has written or co-written hundreds of songs, and has been honored by several Songwriting Halls of Fame. His most famous song (and my favorite) is “Me and Bobby McGee”… he didn’t write it for his girlfriend Janis Joplin, but her version is probably the most memorable. He was also Janis Joplin’s boyfriend at the time of her death. Kris also had decades-long friendships with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. He’s a member of Veterans For Peace, and he vocally protested the Iraq War.

Ethan Hawke is shown out in Aukland, New Zealand on 4/5/09 and outside Conan O’Brien on 11/26/08. Toby Keith is shown performing on The Early Show on 6/18/07. Kriss Kistofferson is shown on 2/2/09 at the premiere of He’s Just Not That Into You. Credit:

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21 Responses to “Toby Keith rants about Ethan Hawke & Kris Kristofferson”

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  1. heh-heh says:

    Kris Kristofferson gets a pass from me on just about anything.

  2. RAN says:

    Me too Heh Heh…

    What does ‘none of that lefty sh1t (I assume the bleeped out word is sh1t) mean?

  3. 88modesty88 says:

    Me three… I think he’s amazing

  4. neelyo says:

    Don’t forget, Kristofferson was also a Rhodes scholar.

    Not a fan of Hawke and definitely not Keith, who comes off as a jingoistic asshole. Good for Kristofferson to call him on it and to have the class not to fan the flames of the past. Nonetheless, I’m glad this embarrassing tidbit came out.

  5. photo jojo says:

    RAN, Lefty sh*t = liberalism or anything less than Toby Keith’s “put a boot in your @ss, it’s the American Way” pseudo-patriotic crap.

  6. rbsesq says:

    Toby Keith is such an ass. He claims to be a patriot, but refuses to stand behind the fundamental tenets on which this country was founded – freedom of speech, the right to question the decisions of those in power. If you disagree with him, you better watch out. Can anyone say Dixie Chicks?

    Kris Kristofferson on the other hand is fabulous. Lovely man.

  7. sauvage says:

    Nobody bitches about Kris Kristofferson in my presence! And, really, Toby Keith…?

  8. GimmeABreak says:

    Toby Keith is an opportunist. He rode the shirt tales of the soldiers in Iraq to get a hit song and then endorsed Obama who was against the very war they are fighting. (Whether you agree with the war or not isn’t the discussion so don’t go there.)

    He’s a talentless load who’s waiting for the next opportunity to keep himself relevant and in the spotlight. Make him go away!!

  9. Trillion says:

    Kristofferson is the man who stood behind Sinead O’Conner and encouraged her to stand her ground and sing in front of a booing crowd who disapproved her protesting the Catholic church’s rampant child abuse issues. I love him. What a talent and what a spirit. She was right, of course. And he was right to support her on that stage. He’s a national treasure. Bow down Keith.

  10. the original kate says:

    if toby keith is so into the military and bombing people why doesn’t he join the military and go do it? oh, right, he’d much rather sit on his ever-expanding ass drinking dixie beer and fantasizing about sarah palin.

    kris is a very smart and talented man, but if he did actually say that to toby, then kris is my new hero!

  11. BOGART4017 says:

    TK doesnt fool me…kick up a little dust to draw attention to yourself and away from your lame performance at ACM awards, thats easy. And stop being a bully fercryingoutloud! Beating up on paying audiences and calling out celebriity reporters don’t make you tough…and one day could get you knocked on your ass.

  12. Trillion says:

    Original Kate: You will love this David Cross bit.

    (if link doesn’t work, search youtube: David Cross Toby Keith)

  13. Armand says:

    I can’t imagine that Hawke would completely lie in order to “make his story the best ever in Rolling Stone history”. That’s an idiotic statement by Keith and makes no sense. He’s a egomaniac blow-tard that represents everything wrong with this country.

  14. Judy says:

    Personally call me the day you think you can find someone big enough to knock TK on his ass. LOL
    Eh is a bullshitter and KK was not goin g to cover for him. If that story was true and KK did infact say anythin g like that to TK he would have admitted it and in so many words called it bullshit..The Dixie Chicks think they know it all and got blasted for it..they embarrassed themselves. I am not a Bush fan..and am glad he is goine but you do not go to another country and trash the moron we put in office lol TK nailed them for that and they should have been nailed for it.
    Maines is an idiot for cripes sake.

  15. Danielle says:

    It seems in this country you can question a politician as long as he/she’s a Republican, but I don’t really find anyone heavily criticizing or questioning a Liberal.

  16. Danielle says:

    P.S. That’s coming from a woman in a red state. Not that I care either way. This country’s going to hell in a hand basket but at least our president is popular in the media. I suppose that counts for something.

  17. Seldom Bin Laid says:

    Really Danielle? No one questions a Liberal? Hmmm…

    Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter et al. are the biggest loudmouths in the media and they’re certainly doing their part to fuel ignorance in this country.

    Kris Kristofferson has more talent, knowledge and better judgement than all of the black hat ignoramous psudo-country stars of today put together.

    And well said Trillion. It was a media backlash and misrepresentation of what O’Connor was trying to say because it was obscurred by her approach. In reality it was a protest of a practice few would condone if they didn’t misread her actions. Kristofferson was once again smarter than all that.

  18. Gayle says:

    You guys apparently aren’t up on the fact that both Kris & Willie say that incident didn’t happen. I also watched the video of exactly what Toby said & there is no ranting. Yeah, he used cuss words- ones that by movie standards would probably receive an R rating – but he didn’t raise his voice & while you could tell was rather pissed, remained rather calm. Toby Keith has a right to state his side of the story publicly since all this was brought up in a public forum. You may not agree w/ him or like him, but he has a right to free speech too. As, for him supporting our country, he has won so many awards for going to places other stars won’t to support our troops. He spent over 3 hours in a bunker w/ troops recently because mortar fire interrupted his concert & even when told that it could be dangerous, immediately resumed playing & finished that concert. I heard on the radio that he’s over in Afghanistan right now on yet another tour. So, what are you guys doing to support our troops?

  19. wlennon says:

    Seldom Bin Laid, the media will not question any liberal or neo-liberal. I would like to see you and other posters, such as; rbsesq, neelyo, jojo, and the like…and after the G-20 summit only went to prove our president is un-American by putting us down in front of other countries, what a wimp. He has his own agenda, and that is to bankrupt the USA.

    I would pay to see (the no talent) Hawke and Keith go at each other, but Hawke would need an ambulance, and Keith would not even need to use his black belt training, just tie his right arm behind his back and he could still put that wimp hawke in the hospital with one punch. People have no idea just how strong Toby is…

    Have any of you served your country? I seriously doubt it, I have…twice.

    Sempre Fi

  20. Anybody who volunteered to become an Airborne Ranger (and making it), then requesting pilot duty in Vietnam has an open microphone concerning wars. RLTW!

  21. Jodi Doney says:

    Personally I think Ethan Hawke Deserved to
    Be Cussed out YOU GO TOBY