Bliss N Eso Pay Tribute to Actor Killed on Set of Music Video: 'We Are Devastated'

Bliss N Eso

Bliss N Eso

The members of Bliss N Eso have spoken for the first time about the tragic death of an actor on the set of their new music video. 

The chart-topping Australian hip-hop act of MC Bliss, MC Eso and DJ Izm identified Johann Ofner as the man who lost his life, an incident which left them “devastated” and which is now the focus of a police investigation.

Bliss N Eso shared a statement Tuesday (Jan. 24) in which they said they purposely kept his name out of an earlier statement to ensure his family and friends were contacted first by police.

“We are devastated about the tragic passing of Johann Ofner. Out of respect to Johann’s family, friends and the on-going investigation we don’t feel it is appropriate for us to make further comment at this time,” the artists’ statement reads.

“We chose not to disclose Johann’s details yesterday to ensure police had time to contact his family and friends, however this information is now clearly in the public forum. We continue to express our support and condolences to the family and friends of those so deeply affected by this sad event and appreciate your ongoing understanding in this incredibly difficult time." the message concludes.

Ofner, a resident of the Gold Coast, was reportedly due to participate in the free-to-air Channel Nine's upcoming Australian Ninja Warrior series,
 
Bliss ‘N Eso’s management team also shared a fact-sheet in the hope of clearing up some erroneous reports which circulated after the incident.

According to reps, Ofner was fatally injured when a prop gun loaded with blanks was discharged during the filming of a scene for the “Friends Like You” music video.

“The exact cause of Johann’s fatal injury is still to be confirmed, but as the gun was loaded with blanks, not live ammunition, the cause was not a bullet or live round,” according to the fact-sheet. An earlier statement noted the band members were not on site when the fatal shooting occurred.  

The “Friends Like You” production team is said to have hired Ofner as a stunt man for the music video, a “sliding doors”-type   fictional story which was being filmed at a bar in central Brisbane. The incident took place during the final “poker” sequence, which was to be filmed over a week and was the only scene to feature weapons. There’s no comment on whether the music video will be completed.  

The shock death has rattled many in the Aussie music community. Homegrown rapper 360 wrote on Facebook: “Really sorry to hear about this and to the family of the man killed. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't believe this something like this could happen.”

Bliss N Eso is one of the leading lights in Australian hip-hop, with an ARIA Award (2008 best urban release) an APRA Award (2014 best urban work) and two chart-topping, platinum certified albums (Running on Air from 2010 and Circus in the Sky from 2013) in the bag. 

“Friends Like You” will appear on the band’s forthcoming sixth studio album Off the Grid, scheduled for release March 10 through Illusive Sounds/Liberation Music.

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