Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Bret Michaels' Representatives Issue Statement Regarding Tony Award Injury

Representatives for POISON singer, and reality tv star, Bret Michaels have 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.



Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You