Equality-Minded Performance Spaces: Cancel Upcoming Michelle Shocked Concerts After Vile Anti-Gay Tirade
  • Petitioned Phyllis Stein

This petition was delivered to:

Manager, Michelle Shocked
Phyllis Stein
Brugge, Belgium
Klinkers Festival
London, UK
Kings Place Folk Union
U.S. Booking Agent
Phillip Stein
Tom Tom Music, UK/Europe Booking Agent
Andy Cooper
Street Team, Tour Marketing/Management
Hugo Mendez

Equality-Minded Performance Spaces: Cancel Upcoming Michelle Shocked Concerts After Vile Anti-Gay Tirade

    1. John Becker
    2. Petition by

      John Becker

      Washington, DC

March 2014


John Becker: Shocked's entire U.S. tour was cancelled.

On Sunday, folk singer and onetime Lilith Fair regular Michelle Shocked stunned a San Francisco audience with a vicious anti-gay tirade. (Source: http://is.gd/O2IEGF) Shocked told the crowd that she lived in fear of same-sex marriage and even co-opted the rhetoric of the Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-gay hate group, by declaring that "God hates fags."

Audience members reportedly walked out in disgust.

Freedom of speech and artistic expression are critically important, but this isn't about free speech. This is hate speech. And in a world where LGBT people are bullied from the pulpit, on the playground, and at the polls, anti-gay hate speech can have serious consequences including legitimizing bullying and hate crimes, and increasing victims' risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide.

Michelle Shocked is currently on tour, and many performance venues are cancelling her upcoming shows in light of Shocked's bigoted rant. Let's demand that the rest do the same.

Recent signatures


    1. VICTORY!

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer
      UPDATED: Michelle Shocked's Entire U.S. Tour Evaporates Less Than 48 Hours After Anti-Gay Rant

      UPDATE: shows at both Harmony Bar and Grill in Madison, WI and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, CO have now been cancelled. That means Michelle Shocked's entire U.S. tour has evaporated within two days of her bigoted anti-gay rant. The list of venues and contact information below has been updated to reflect this latest development....

    2. Germany's Burg Herzberg Festival Cancels Shocked

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      From the venue's website:

      "We had to cancel Michelle Shocked. During a concert the last days in San Francisco she said things like: 'When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilisation' and 'You are going to leave here and tell people, 'Michelle Shocked said God hates faggots.' Personally as well as the managers of a festival with the motto 'Art of Peace' we can not deal with such crap."


    3. BREAKING: Audio Emerges of Michelle Shocked's Anti-Gay Rant

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      We've all been waiting for it; click on the link below to listen for yourselves. I've also transcribed it for you.

      Whatever one thinks of Shocked’s erratic and incoherent behavior — and I happen to agree with those who speculate that she may in fact have had some kind of a mental breakdown – she wasn’t misunderstood, nor was she paraphrasing the bigoted beliefs of anti-gay Christians. She clearly and repeatedly stated that the anti-gay views she expressed were her own “reality,” and didn’t back down from them when audience members angrily challenged her, nearly all patrons left, and the venue shut the whole thing down.

      Shocked isn’t the victim here. Her hateful remarks were understood loud and clear.


      BREAKING: Audio Emerges of Michelle Shocked's Anti-Gay Rant

      Audio has just emerged of Michelle Shocked 's anti-gay remarks at a show in San Francisco that have caused the implosion of her U.S. tour and, in all likelihood, her career. Shocked claimed this afternoon that her remarks were "misinterpreted." The audio itself suggests otherwise.

    4. Michelle Shocked Responds: I've Been Misunderstood

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      Check it out:


      I'm not buying it. When a public figure causes a PR disaster by making shocking or ill-advised remarks, they or their representatives often try to rewrite what actually took place and reframe the story in a way that makes them look less unfavorable. It's understandable, yet insincere. Shocked's statement doesn't strike me as a genuine, wholehearted apology; it smells like damage control. And damage control isn't good enough.

      Michelle Shocked Responds: I Was Misunderstood

      Michelle Shocked has finally broken her silence about her awful "God hates fags" rant in San Francisco last weekend that earned the ire of thousands of equality supporters around the country and caused her entire U.S. tour to collapse in less than 48 hours. Shocked's explanation for her vile remarks?

    5. Reached 4,000 signatures
    6. UPDATE: Final US Venue and Irish Venue Cancel

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      WOW! The Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colorado cancelled Shocked's show today. That's right: Michelle Shocked's entire U.S. tour has evaporated within two days of her bigoted anti-gay rant.

      Check out the updated list for venues to thank here: http://www.johnmbecker.com/2013/03/19/michelle-shocked-cancellations/

      But we're not done yet! Please keep signing and sharing so we can convince European venues to follow suit and continue dropping the anti-gay Ms. Shocked.


      UPDATED: Folk Singer Michelle Shocked's Anti-Gay Rant Prompts Wave of Cancellations

      UPDATE: shows at both Harmony Bar and Grill in Madison, WI and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, CO have now been cancelled. That means Michelle Shocked's entire U.S. tour has evaporated within two days of her bigoted anti-gay rant. The list of venues and contact information below has been updated to reflect this latest development.

    7. Reached 2,500 signatures
    8. Spin Magazine Has Best Headline Yet

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      "Michelle Shocked Claims Gay Marriage Will End the World, Venues End Her Tour Instead."

      Awesome, right? Check it out: http://www.spin.com/articles/michelle-shocked-anti-gay-rapture-tour-canceled

    9. ONE US Venue Remaining -- Madison Cancels!

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      I spoke with a manager at the Madison venue this morning and he confirmed that Michelle Shocked will NOT be appearing there on May 4. Unlike the other cancellations, though, he told me that Shocked's management made the call. Pollstar corroborates the information:


      That leaves just ONE U.S. event remaining -- Telluride, Colorado -- and several other European events. Keep that pressure on, people! Thank you!


      Pollstar is the only trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry. We have been supplying in-depth information to every professional concert promoter, booking agent, artist manager, facility executive and every other entity involved in the live entertainment business for 30 years.

    10. Reached 2,000 signatures
    11. USA Today Covers Our Petition!

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      Great news, everyone: USA Today gave a shout-out to this petition in their coverage of Shocked's anti-gay tirade. Awesome, right? Click the link below to check out their article.

      I've also begun to add venues in Europe to the target list, so *please* continue signing and sharing! Thanks so much!


      Michelle Shocked show canceled for anti-gay tirade

      Michelle Shocked's May 5 show canceled following anti-gay tirade. Michelle Shocked performs on stage during day five of the Bluesfest Music Festival at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in 2011 in Australia. (Photo: Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images) Michelle Shocked, a controversial singer and Born Again Christian, is under fire for her anti-gay tirade during a weekend concert in San Francisco.

    12. Reached 1,500 signatures
    13. Number 9, Number 9...

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      McCabe's Guitar Shop has cancelled Michelle Shocked's show this Saturday, March 23: http://www.mccabes.com/condata.html

      Only TWO MORE shows to go! Keep signing and sharing -- thanks!

    14. Reached 1,000 signatures
    15. Another one!

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      Another cancellation: Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz, CA has cancelled the March 28 Michelle Shocked show: http://www.moesalley.com/artist.php?id=1633&artist=The_Michelle_Shocked_Show_Has_Been_CANCELLED

      If you have a moment, please join me in making sure we thank these venues for doing the right thing, even when it comes at a substantial cost in terms of lost revenue, etc.

    16. Reached 750 signatures
    17. TWO More Cancellations!

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      They're dropping like flies, folks, faster than I can even keep up with them!

      Two more venues have pulled out: Meander's Kitchen in Seattle (April 26), Washington and Cozmic in Eugene, Oregon (April 27).

      By my count, that means Michelle Shocked only has FOUR remaining venues on the American leg of her tour. She started her day today with 11. This is awesome -- thank you all for helping keep the pressure on. Let's keep it up!

    18. The Fallout Continues...

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      UPDATE: the Palms Playhouse in Winters, CA has confirmed that they've cancelled Michelle Shocked's April 24 show: http://www.palmsplayhouse.com/palmattr.html

      Thanks everyone! At this rate, we'll get her entire tour lineup cancelled in no time! Keep up the signing and sharing, and let's hit this anti-gay bully where it hurts: her pocketbook.

    19. Chicago Tribune Covers Evanston Cancellation

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      The Chicago Tribune published an article this evening about the Evanston cancellation, which is what prompted this petition.

      According to the article, the managers at Evanston SPACE "confirmed with the San Francisco promoter that Shocked’s comments were “'ugly in nature and not meant to be artistic or satirical in any way … It wasn't a very hard decision for us.'”

      Check it out: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-michelle-shocked-evanston-20130318,0,7598900.story

    20. Decision-maker Cozmic responds:


      Thank you you all for your support of live music.
      COZMIC has cancelled it's Michelle Shocked show. Please remove me from the list.

    21. Reached 500 signatures
    22. ANOTHER cancellation!

      John Becker
      Petition Organizer

      The Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland, Oregon has just cancelled Michelle Shocked's show on April 25. The cancellation is reflected on their website: https://www.albertarosetheatre.com/

      Thanks, everyone! Keep signing and sharing!!

      Alberta Rose Theatre

      Located in the Alberta Arts District, we are Portland's premier setting to experience acoustic music, art house films and live performances...

    23. Reached 50 signatures
    24. Decision-maker Alberta Rose Theatre responds:

      Alberta Rose Theatre

      Please remove our name from this. We have cancelled the show.
      Thanks for your concern and support.
      - Alberta Rose Theatre

    25. Reached 25 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Julia Adkins NAPA, CA
      • 7 months ago

      I am not interested in seeing or hearing about her deep fears.

    • Alexandria Morales COTO DE CAZA, CA
      • 8 months ago

      Free speech doesn't include hate speech.

      What a disgusting, sad excuse for a human being. Do not support her.

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 10 months ago

      My Ex-tenant, a cyberstalker sent me for years sadistic lesbian and gay rape porns with E.Mail! We Live In A Rape Culture!

      Many people object to the phrase “rape culture.” They don’t understand how a culture as civilized as ours can be defined by a force as destructive as rape. They deem it an overstatement, an “over-analysis” by angry bra-burning feminists. Some even consider it an oxymoron. And others quite simply don’t understand the term.

      Rape culture is the condoning and normalizing of physical, emotional and sexual terrorism against women and girls and marginalized subjects. It is the production and maintenance of an environment where sexual assault is so normative that people ultimately believe that rape is inevitable.

      Society operates formally and informally based on attitudes, beliefs, customs and rituals that members agree are acceptable and normal. Rape is embedded in our culture through our collective beliefs and this has rendered sexual violence acceptable and normal. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem that needs changing, people in a rape culture consider its persistence as “just the way things are.”

      We’ve accepted rape as part of our society and allocated gender roles only aid in exasperating this.

      How do we normalize rape? Professor Lynn Phillips answers this question very well: “Everywhere you turn there’s condoning, trivializing, and eroticizing rape, and collectively it sets a tone that says this is no big deal, or this is what women deserve.” A common misconception is that we have to agree with rape in order to be a part of a rape culture. This is not true. We do not need to give consent to be a part of a rape culture. We already live in one. Rape culture is not necessarily about you accommodating or agreeing to an actual rape. It’s about participating in a culture that says “rape is no big deal” via various communicative mediums such as media, advertising, law, jokes, TV, film, etc., and not calling it out and resisting it.

      This is most easily revealed in the ways that the language of rape culture exists in everyday conversation; trending social media topics like “the rape sloth;” meme “jokes” like “Oh you don’t want sex? Challenge Accepted,” and even “I’ve got a dick and a knife, at least one of them is going inside of you tonight;” popular phrases like “I raped that test;” and movies where entire plots revolve around teenage boys wanting to throw a party so they can get girls drunk and have sex with them (i.e. American Pie).

      Hip Hop artist Rick Ross recently rapped a verse on the Rocko song U.O.E.N.O that not only condoned rape but encouraged listeners to engage in date rape. He boasted,

      Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.

      The line preceding Ross’s line, “she ain’t even know it,” explicitly engages slipping a well known date rape drug, MDMA, also known as “Molly,” into a girls’ champagne glass. In this song, regardless of apology or intention, Ross is advocating date rape through drugging women. There is no consent here, and no consent=rape. Such examples have a universal impact on how we view rape and sexual violence.

      The synthesis between rape and culture is created through social customs and relations, politics, religion, advertising, entertainment, media, etc., which too often sexualizes violence, blames victims, and propagates myths about race, gender, class and sexual assault. In rape culture, we often take responsibility away from rapists by saying things like “maybe she could have taken precautions to ensure the sexual assault didn’t happen?” or teaching that because a woman wasn’t modestly dressed or drunk, she deserved the rape a little bit more than others. This is wrong.

      Rape prevention must focus on eliminating the conditions in society that make women easy targets for it. Victim control or rapist control alone are not effective. Victim control teaches women that they are rape-able and that it’s their job to avoid rape. However, this is not only sexist, it doesn’t reduce the threat of rape. Furthermore, rape cannot always be avoided, no matter what precautions the woman takes. Social training and gender constructs exasperate the rape culture that we live in. Men are taught to be powerful and macho and women are taught to be victims–who need saving.

      Rape can be viewed as a means of control over women. A strategy for eliminating women’s vulnerability to rape involves altering the power relationship between women and men. This would require eliminating the erroneous gender constructs that facilitate this imbalance. Some women are reluctant to challenge men’s offensive behavior because of their social conditioning (i.e. it’s not proper to “make a scene”). And frequently, women psychologically distance themselves from the issue of rape and from each other by adopting the attitude that “It can’t happen to me,” or that “Only immoral women are raped.”

      So, what can we do to help change this?

      Interrupt jokes that are sexist/misogynistic and make rape an issue. Laughing or saying nothing when someone tells one of these jokes normalizes rape and sexual violence against women.

      Write a letter to the editor or producer if media coverage of sexual assault is disrespectful, objectifying, or victim-blaming.

      E-mail complaints and concerns to advertising agencies, magazines, broadcasting companies, and newspapers who participate in the production of images that degrade minorities or glorify violence.

      E-mail compliments to artists and public personalities who publicly take a stance against rape.

      Refuse to buy products whose advertisements promote the notion that women should or do get sexual pleasure from being dominated against in any way–without consent.

      Engage male allies. Explain that rape is not simply a woman’s issue, and that men play a key role in stopping rape.

      Help dispel some commonly held rape myths.

      Make rape culture known to everyone around you–friends, family and colleagues. The more people that know about it, the more chances we have to rid our society of its destructive force.

      Continue to educate yourself about rape culture by reading books, such as Transforming a Rape Culture by Emilie Buchwald, Pamela Fletcher, and Martha Roth or by watching documentaries such as Rape Culture.

    • Bob Huey TUCSON, AZ
      • 12 months ago

      I have met Ms Shocked, and I have attended a couple of her concerts. Loved her. Past tense. She has made a conscious, somewhat metacognitive, decision to embrace hate and vitriol since that is what she expects her religion to command. And for that, she should feel the push-back of her previous fans (the same community she now is hating) and the straight community (me) as well. Give her the boot.

    • Jessica Anderson COVINGTON, LA
      • about 1 year ago

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.