Evan Rachel Wood is not a fan of the new Kanye West project, and she had a song of her own — and a digit to go with it — to offer her response.
The singer-actor performed the New Radicals classic “You Get What You Give” during an impromptu performance at Hollywood’s Bourbon Room Saturday night, a song that mentions the name of her ex, rock singer Marilyn Manson, whom she has said has “horrifically abused me for years.” When Manson’s name came up in the lyrics, she put up her middle finger, to cheers from the crowd, as seen in a video of the performance she posted to Instagram.
Without mentioning names, Wood made it clear that her rendition of the song was in response to Manson having been given a platform and a seeming seal of approval by Kanye West, who had the embattled rock star come out along with DaBaby to perform the new song “Jail Pt. 2” during a show Thursday night in Chicago.
“I’ve been saving this but it seems like the appropriate time,” Wood said in introducing her rendition of “You Get What You Give,” accompanied by guitarist Zane Carney.
In posting the video, Wood added the caption, “For my fellow survivors who got slapped in the face this week. I love you. Don’t give up.”
Wood’s performance came the night before West released his “Donda” album, which also includes Manson and DaBaby as featured artists on “Jail Pt. 2.” DaBaby gets an extended verse on the song, which is full of defiance against those who criticized him recently for his homophobic comments; Manson, for his part, only contributes singalong vocals to West’s chorus.
The spontaneous nature of Wood’s performance was reinforced by Carney commenting: “I love you and love that we learned this backstage 3 min before we played it classic EVAN + ZANE moment hahaha! Can’t wait for our next actual (livestream) gig!!!”
The performance took place at a late-night cabaret show populated mostly by members of the cast of “Tarantino Live,” a revue built around songs from Quentin Tarantino films that opened this month at the Bourbon Room on Hollywood Blvd.
Wood has won praise for her singing before, especially as a frequent guest at David Bowie tribute shows in the years following the singer’s death.
Wood and Manson were reported to be in a relationship from 2007-2010, starting when she was 19 and he was 36. She has accused the musician of “grooming” her. Wood gave testimony to Congress about sexual assault in 2018 without naming names. In February of this year, she released a statement that named Manson, writing, “The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson. He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. … I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives.”
Four other women have come forward to allege abuse by Manson, who released a statement denying the allegations, writing in February, “My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners. Regardless of how – and why – others are now choosing to misrepresent the past, that is the truth.” In April, “Game of Thrones” actor Esmé Bianco sued him for sexual assault and sexual battery she says took place in 2011. In February, the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department said it was “investigating allegation[s] of domestic violence” involving Manson between 2009-11, but so far criminal charges have not been filed.