Michelle Shocked, Headliner At OWS Concert Last Year, Denounced For Anti-Gay Remarks
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Six months ago, alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked was among the headliners at a well-attended Occupy Wall Street anniversary concert in downtown Manhattan.
This week, she has been denounced in New York and elsewhere in the country after going on an anti-gay tirade at a West Coast concert.
Performing at the San Francisco nightclub Yoshi’s Sunday night, Shocked stunned the audience by going on a homophobic rant during a concert that included the statement, “God hates f**s,” CBS San Francisco reported.
She told the crowd, “You can go on Twitter and say, ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates f**s,’” and added “I live in fear that the world will be destroyed if gays are allowed to marry,” according to published reports.
After much of the crowd walked out, the show was shut down and Shocked’s microphone was cut off, according to published reports.
The Tri-State Area is not part of Shocked’s current tour, but venues in many other cities have canceled scheduled performances in response to her tirade.
The SPACE nightclub in the Chicago suburb of Evanston canceled its scheduled May 5 performance by Shocked and offered refunds, saying on its Facebook page, “it’s clear that this is no longer a show we’re willing to put our name on.” Venues in Novato, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica and Winters, Calif.; as well as Seattle, Wash.; Portland and Eugene, Ore.; and Boulder, Colo., have also canceled concerts, according to published reports.
In New York, Village Voice columnist Michael Musto denounced Shocked in his trademark mocking tone, saying the remarks “incited her remaining fans and almost made her famous again.”
Musto also published comments about the remarks from New York native and openly lesbian singer Janis Ian.
“Our country is in large part founded on the concept of free speech — the right to speak your mind politically and socially. But there is a huge difference between ‘free speech’ and ‘hate speech,’” she wrote.
Ian added, “And isn’t it odd to see someone who was so woman-identified turn a 360-degree like this? Then again, ‘Hell hath no fury…’ ”
Six months ago in New York, Shocked was among several singers at the “99 Revolutions” concert celebrating the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street in Foley Square. Four hundred people attended the concert, which also featured performances from Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, and Das Racist.
“I am here to represent, with love, the 99 percent. The first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street is so important to me, because for 25, 30 years, I have yearned; I have longed with all my heart – with all my desire – for people to rise up; to speak up against oppression and injustice, and unfairness,” Shocked said in an interview at the concert that was uploaded to the Web site Vimeo.
Shocked also appeared at Joe’s Pub in NoHo in August as part of her “Roadworks Roccupy” tour, in which she sang original songs along with Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” She also led a forum on foreclosure fraud, according to accounts of the concert.
Occupy Wall Street has not issued a comment on its Web site about Shocked’s comments at the San Francisco concert.
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