Your Coachella Moral Quandary Is Over
Philip Anschutz, the billionaire owner of AEG (and thus the person at the top of the pyramid for Coachella organizer Goldenvoice, as well as dozens of live concerts and venues across the country), has responded to the outrage that spread across social media and music blogs after reports reemerged showing he financially backed various anti-LGBTQ groups and climate change deniers.
“Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news – it is all garbage,” he wrote in a statement to Rolling Stone. “I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation. We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us – the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.”
“Both the Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes,” he said. “Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of the Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.”
Rolling Stone adds that when asked about giving to the specific anti-LGBTQ groups mentioned in the reports, a rep for Anschutz said, “We have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.” So, ya know, it’s not “fake news” if it said he gave to those orgs and he did.
Music Twitter spent yesterday (January 5) debating the merits of getting worked up about these months-old and years-old reports and donations that cropped up because it was easily pegged to the Coachella lineup announcement and frustration about the looming Trump era. But hey, at least it forced a billionaire to address it, and to distance himself from some pretty heinous organizations.
Enjoy Beyoncé with a clear conscience.