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Bret Michaels' Issues His Own Response To Tony Award Injury

POISON singer, and reality tv star, Bret Michaels has issued his own response regarding his Tony Awards accident.

The performer, who was forced to postpone his June 10 show in Myrtle Beach until August 6, posted his thoughts on his blog:

"Over the last few days a lot of speculation as to what happened and who is to blame have surfaced. I need to make clear at no point since the incident occurred do I feel like the accident was malicious in any way and I feel this will all work itself out."  

Michaels adds, "However I must state I found it a little strange that the only statement released by the Tony organization was that I missed my mark and that I was completely fine. First, I thought, 'what mark?' as there was no official mark, just a retracting drum riser and an overhead prop being rapidly lowered which was out of my view. Second, I think it was slightly irresponsible for them to report that I was fine without full knowledge of my condition, when a doctor hadn't even looked at me yet and I surely don't remember any X-Ray machines backstage. I am not looking for an apology, I only hoped that on a human level that the Tony organizations' representative would have expressed some concern for injury in their statement or at the very least claim they would be looking into the matter."

Michaels continues, "Whether it was a miscommunication, missed cue or missed mark no matter what the situation was the prop should have been stopped or at least slowed for a few more seconds until I cleared the stage. I apparently had less than two seconds to avoid being hit. It was evident I was backing up and moving in the direction to exit the stage for at least 30 to 40 feet and it is plain to see I had no clue this prop was descending. For God sake, they have at least a five second delay to prevent the airing of unapproved expletives and nudity!"


To read the entire blog post, click here.

On June 10th, Representatives for Michaels issued a statement regarding the on-going story of his collision with a piece scenery at the 2009 Tony Awards.

The statement is as follows:

After a performance by [POISON and] singer Bret Michaels at the Tony Awards Sunday night, he turned to exit the stage and was struck in the head by a descending half-ton stage prop, sweeping him off his feet causing contusions to his face and knocking him to the ground. Even at that point of impact, the heavy prop was still not halted and continued to descend even though Michaels remained underneath it. Witnesses state the singer moved himself out of the way just moments before the prop touched down.

Janna Elias, a representative for Michaels, stated, "With all due respect to everyone working the Tony Awards, somewhere down the line there was a lack of communication and the prop should have been immediately halted until Michaels was clear. Sunday morning at rehearsals, Bret was never informed that the descending set piece existed, let alone would be moving into position as he was exiting the stage."

Although Bret was visibly dazed, he remained extremely calm backstage as members of POISON's road crew brought him a towel to wipe the blood from his face. His only comment at the time was, "What the hell just hit me?"

The severity of this injury is not being taken lightly as symptoms from head and neck injuries at first may seem like nothing and sometimes do not present for days. At this time, the full extent of his injuries remain to be seen until all x-rays are back.

Added Elias: "I find it surprising that a Tony spokesperson would brush off this incident with a comment stating, Mr. Michaels missed his mark,' with no mention of concern for his condition. If everyone at the Tonys were aware that Bret missed his mark, then they should have been aware enough to stop the set piece from hitting him or at least slowed it down until he cleared the stage. I feel had this incident happened to Liza Minneli, Dolly Parton or Elton John, the Tonys would have at least issued a letter of concern.

"Bret has performed live, with POISON or solo, for over 20 years and on a daily basis is around pyro, lasers and a moving light show. He understands that there is always an element of risk in any live performance, but Bret entrusts his safety to the crew whose job it is to make sure the show goes off without a hitch, and should any member of the band be in harm's way, that they do not complete the gag. However, in this situation, Bret was not on his stage but was at the mercy of the Tonys. He was performing on the Tonys stage and had the reasonable expectation that that safety of the artist was a priority and at no time did he do anything over the top or outlandish that would have put himself or others in a dangerous situation.

"To put this into perspective, a garage door has a safety mechanism so that it doesn't come down if your child should accidentally walk under it while it is in motion. You mean to tell us that with all the technology, producers, directors, stage managers and crew that no one at the Tonys saw Mr. Michaels clearly backing up and turning to exit the stage or was capable of halting the prop or slowing it so it didn't strike Bret? There was no official mark; Bret did what he was instructed to do, which was to finish the song and return to the retractable stage platform, which was exactly what he was doing when the prop struck his head."

Bob Wallerstein, a representative for Michaels, said "We realize the show is live and must go on, however it is unfortunate that the show's host made light of the situation without having any knowledge of the severity of Bret's injuries. Comments that Mr. Harris was doing shots backstage with Mr. Michaels and that Bret was completely fine were untrue considering Bret never saw Mr. Harris prior to, during, or after the Tonys, but in fact was being attended to by medical personnel backstage. Michaels did not return to the stage, the seats nor attend any after-parties."

An official statement by Michaels on this incident is expected by the end of the week.

POISON appeared with the cast of "Rock of Ages", the jukebox musical about an aspiring rock group on the Sunset Strip. The dark-horse show, which originated at Hollywood's King King club before moving to Las Vegas and then Broadway, received five nominations, including one for best musical.

The appearance was the first time that Michaels has appeared with POISON on the red carpet since the infamous fight between him and C.C. DeVille took place at MTV Music Awards.

The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Awards, recognize achievement in live American theatre and are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The 63rd Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony"® Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 7, 2009 and broadcast on the CBS Television Network. For more information visit tonyawards.com.



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