Phil Collins is now safe to continue working his way back from musical retirement without any interference from Brian Pee.

NME reports that Pee, who made headlines after starting an online petition asking the United Nations to halt Collins' comeback because "there is far too much suffering in the world as it is," has taken it down, admitting the whole thing was just a "silly joke" that got out of hand.

Pee explained his decision to pull the plug on the petition, which had gathered more than 4,300 signatures, arguing that while everyone who put their name to it must have understood it wasn't serious, other people had started treating it like an actual anti-Collins campaign. "It very obviously wasn't a serious petition," he wrote. "Surely no one could think this was going to be sent to the UN?"

Describing it as "lowbrow satire" and "a farcical jest" that was initially nothing more than a gag between friends, Pee continued, "It would have remained that way, and been forgotten about very quickly, as all silly jokes are, had someone in the news media not seen it and thought it newsworthy. That anyone saw it as newsworthy is puzzling. How so many saw it as newsworthy is far more puzzling. It must have been a very slow news week."

Though Pee expressed disbelief that Collins would care one way or the other, he seemed to indicate that he'd gotten a substantial amount of backlash from angry fans who took the petition personally. "It's gone now, so people who were annoyed about it and gave their attention to it, and people who reported it and directed so many other people's attention towards it may direct their attentions to something of real importance," he concluded.
"This petition wasn't that."

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