NEW ORLEANS -- A member of California rap group Odd Future is under criticism for allegedly hitting and damaging a female photographer's lens during Voodoo Fest on Sunday.
The set became contentious after Odd Future member Tyler the Creator arrived on the stage, looked down at the photo pit, and shouted obscenities while saying how much he hated photographers. He then poured his bottle of water into the photo pit.
According to NBC33, photographer Amy Harris claims at one point Odd Future member Left Brain "slapped her across the face, knocking her camera to the ground." Harris told Eyewitness News that her camera was broken, but she has reportedly not pressed charges related to the incident.
Eyewitness News had a photographer, Chad Bower, in the pit to shoot Odd Future. You can see a picture of the alleged swipe above. Harris is not in the frame, but Bower said that is the alleged swipe in question.
Bower said Left Brain later knocked down a 20 to 30 pound tripod that was standing in front of the photo pit with photographers surrounding it. Ironically, it was a tripod used by the official Voodoo Fest crew -- not an unaffiliated, credentialed photographer -- to shoot video for the big screen on the main stage.
Odd Future issued the following statement through a publicist:
"There simply is no truth to the accusation floating around the internet. Its no secret that Odd Future has a love/hate relationship with photographers at shows simply because sometimes they are given access the group wishes their fans would have instead. After telling the photographers to clear out multiple times (as they've done before) Vyron (Leftbrain) took a swipe at a few cameras, NOT people. To manipulate the situation to insinuate an attack on a woman specifically is careless and manipulative."
Bower said prior to the show, photographers were told they could shoot three songs, and after the alleged incident, they were ushered out before those three songs were completed.
Late Monday, a publicist for Voodoo Music Experience issued a statement saying the festival "does not in any way condone the behavior of Odd Future towards the approved media assembled in the photo pit."
The statement apologizes to members of the media who experienced and/or witnessed the incident, which a festival spokesperson described as "abusive behavior."