NEW YORK, July 17 (UPI) -- British singer Elton John says the U.S. government is using "bullying tactics" to keep entertainers from speaking out against the war in Iraq.
"There's an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious," he told New York magazine during an interview, saying performers could be "frightened by the current administration's bullying tactics."
The BBC reported Saturday John likened the current atmosphere to McCarthyism in the 1950s.
"There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn't say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American," he told New York.
He added: "People like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on, (in the 1960s). That's not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts -- or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter."