Former TNT and SKID ROW singer Tony Harnell has defended his right to speak out on political issues. He told Tom Leu of the Sound Matters Show: "A lot of people feel that artists should not get involved and say anything — or actors or anybody. But I don't really understand that, because if you have a platform and you have an audience, a lot of people listen to you, I almost feel like everybody that reaches a certain pinnacle — everybody I admire that reaches a certain pinnacle, whether it's publicized or not — gives money to things, does free concerts for things, that they believe in. There's all this philanthropy involved, there's all this giving that's involved because they reach a status where it means something if they show up to a charity event or so on.
"I don't understand why you can't voice your opinion just like your fans can," he continued. "So, like, for example, on Facebook, I'll see a lot of people on my feed, or people I follow, or whatever, saying sometimes the most outrageous things, and I'm not allowed to. And if I do, I'm to ignore the things that I disagree with that I see, but I can't say anything, because then I get the old — which I've gotten many times — 'I'm not gonna buy your music, 'I'm gonna boycott your shows,' 'I'm gonna this,' 'I'm gonna that,' 'I'm gonna write terrible things about you,' which has happened several times, because now people have a platform."
Harnell's most recent split with TNT took place in October 2017, less than a year and a half after he rejoined the group. He later described his relationship with TNT in an "Unphiltered" interview as "a very long marriage. I'm here [in New York], they're there [in Norway] — they're across the pond really far away. It's a very difficult situation to be in without having a very unified business organization, and no matter what I did, I could not get the thing unified. We were just on two totally separate not only continents physically, but mentally, psychologically, we were on two different continents as well."
Harnell joined SKID ROW in April 2015 as the replacement for Johnny Solinger, who was the band's frontman for fifteen years. Tony quit the group only eight months later, writing in a Facebook post that "being ignored and disrespected isn't my thing."