Even now as we approach the second anniversary of Erick Morillo’s death following an overdose of ketamine – a drug traditionally used in horse tranquilliser – there are people out there who venerate him. DJ Pierre is one of those men – as revealed recently by Ears To The House, Pierre said he “missed” his “friend” and “do not believe these allegations”.
Which allegations are these, then? There are several, but the central one is that he raped Kristen Knight in December 2019. Knight reported the rape to Miami police shortly afterwards. Morillo denied anything had happened when initially questioned by police, but turned himself in after a rape kit came back with his DNA all over it. He was charged in August 2020 with rape and was found dead just days before a court appearance.
DJ Pierre – real name Nathaniel Pierre Jones – thinks he knows better than a police investigation. Such is the arrogance of the man, and he’s far from alone amongst male DJs in thinking this. They just cannot fathom the possibility that the man they knew was actually a rapist.
And now it appears the Back In The House film Facebook page have decided to join in with the seemingly deeply misogynistic, hate-filled fun. They posted this nauseating drivel about the “good glory days” of Morillo appearing at Pacha…
Now, Back In The House could have chosen to approach this subject sensitively. It wouldn’t have been too hard – it’s possible to acknowledge he was a great DJ whilst also discussing the allegations surrounding him at the end of his life. Clearly, Morillo has a role in house music history – Ears To The House does not support airbrushing him out, even knowing what we do now.
But Back In The House have made no such attempt to be balanced. Instead, they’ve chosen to beatify Morillo – just as people like Pete Tong, Danny Tenaglia, Carl Cox, Yousef, Jamie Jones and Simon Dunmore did when he died in September 2020. Seriously – this industry has had two years to get over the shock of Morillo’s death, yet they still haven’t learned a thing.
In an encouraging sign the public are taking notice, the comments section is full of people asking questions along the lines of what those who posted this gushing tribute were smoking at the time. Several posted links to articles about the allegations surrounding Morillo, along with other comments saying he was “a rapist scumbag”.
Did Back In The House have a response for their critics? Yes – and when already in a hole, they chose to keep digging…
Is that a dose of victim blaming we see there? It most certainly is. Apparently, Morillo would have seen “some nasty girls around” who were “attracted by fame or money”. What exactly is a “nasty girl” and which woman has actually successfully become famous after claiming she was raped by a house music DJ? We won’t hold our breath waiting for an answer to those questions.
But the argument about women making allegations of rape looking for money is nothing new. It was used in 2014 by disgraced Australian entertainer and paedophile Rolf Harris when he was on trial – he was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault and imprisoned. Adding on the fact Harvey Weinstein also said it, this argument is really not a good look.
They also tried to lump in the likes of Sweden, Detroit and Chicago into their argument – failing to realise there’s a world of difference between a DJ having a consensual sexual encounter with a woman and raping her. Talk of a woman being “selected” by a DJ from a “4000 person dancefloor” is dangerously close to suggesting whatever happened next was on the women themselves, no matter what it may be.
It also disturbingly suggests men aren’t responsible for their own actions – a line which anyone, male or female, should consider patronising and utterly ridiculous. But since Back In The House is currently paying tribute to objectionable figures in dance music history, when will they be doing a cringeworthy tribute to the first man to use two turntables together to ensure there was no gap between the records he played?
His name? Jimmy Savile, probably one of the most prolific paedophiles in British history…