Date: September 18, 2007
Author: Jamie Baker
Origin: The Telegram

Despite a rockstar career fashioned in head to toe leather, and having a gal pal who grew up on fur , it looks like KISS bassist Gene Simmons might be the next celebrity to take a whack at the Canadian seal hunt.

The Vancouver-based weekly publication Georgia Straight is reporting that Simmons intends to bring his reality television show, Gene Simmons' "Family Jewels," to Newfoundland.

While he wouldn't confirm if he intends to focus on the seal hunt, Simmons did tell the Georgia Straight that he isn't a fan of hunting and that "The idea that anybody would call that a sport is delusional."

"When one guy has got a bat and the other one has got a popcorn fart, that's a slaughter," Simmons was quoted as saying on the publication's website, www.straight.com.

Sealing advocates in this part of the world are drumming the whole thing up as, ho-hum, the latest in a long list of ill-informed celebrity anti-sealing protests.

"They're saying we go out for sport?" asked long-time seal hunt advocate Jim Winter with a tone of disbelief.

Winter contends that the people around rockstars like Simmons need to do an improved job of checking the facts before sending their employers off on anti-sealing errands.

"People like Gene Simmons, you phone them up and to get to them you have to go through a whole slew of people," Winter said. "So somebody is feeding them this information, and their minders aren't doing a very good job of separating the wheat from the chaff.

"They should be asking themselves who it is they have hired that is allowing them to get tangled up in these agendas that they don't know anything about."

If Simmons, a man often described as a marketing genius by fans and foes alike, does take aim at the hunt, it won't be without some degree of irony.

Aside from KISS's trademark stagewear, Simmons' long-time significant other, former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed, is a native Newfoundlander who grew up on a mink farm.

"I really appreciate the hypocrisy of a man who's known for his leather clothing. And what is he doing disowning his wife's heritage?" Winter suggested, tongue-in-cheek.

Simmons and Tweed had highly successful careers - Simmons as a musician and Tweed as an actress and model - in the 1970s and 1980s. The two are enjoying a revival of sorts with their reality show which follows the family's everyday lives in up-close detail.

Although Simmons' career has achieved legend status in the rock world, he would only be the second-most prolific bassist to come to eastern Canada to protest seal hunting.
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