Reports have surfaced detailing decades of support to extremist conservative organizations provided by the festival owner.
Just days ago Coachella Valley Music an Arts Festival announced it's stacked line up for 2017. While fans rejoiced over what could possibly be one of the best and most diverse line ups in recent history, things soon turned sour when everyone caught wind of the shady business the reclusive festival owner Phil Anschutz has been up to for decades now.
Phil Anschutz is a conservative billionaire who functions as an entertainment tycoon. He owns Anschutz Corporation which owns the massive entertainment empire AEG (Anschutz Entertainment Group) which owns Coachella, event ticketing company Live Nation, Regal movie theater chain, the Staples Center and the Stubhub Center. On top of that, AEG is heavily involved in several professional sports teams in California.
In addition, AEG also owns the tax exempt Anschutz Family Foundation and several conservative publications including The Weekly Standard and The Washington Examiner. Long story short, things start to get fishy when reports of the Anschutz Family Foundation's donor list surfaced.
According to a report from the Insider between the years of 2011 and 2013, the Anschutz Family Foundation donated a total of almost $200,000 dollars between three organizations:
$110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) between 2011 and 2013. The ADF litigates cases to oppose abortion, same-sex marriage, and civil unions.
$30,000 to Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013. The lobbyist organization battles pro-LGBT laws and has been labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
$50,000 to National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013. The foundation has contributed tens of millions of dollars to ADF, the Family Research Council, and other similar organizations.
Their report also cites that, "The Anschutz Family Foundation website does not disclose these organizations in its database of grant recipients. In a statement, the foundation did not deny that it donated to them."
This shady pattern of behavior isn't uncharacteristic of the Colorado billionaire who allegedly supported a bill in Colorado in 1992, that was later ruled unconstitutional , seeking to ban Gay Rights Laws.
In light of all of this discerning information, Coachella fans and humans beings in general are pissed and a massive Twitter storm has ensued.
Philip Anschutz, the CEO of AEG, gave over $1,000,000 to Republican candidates in the 2016 election cycle https://t.co/JsM5ikW6Tt— AnnaMaria Di Pietro (@AnnaMariaDP) January 5, 2017
Good stories out, but referring to Philip Anschutz as owner of Coachella kind of undersells his immense hand in entertainment at large— Luke O'Neil (@lukeoneil47) January 5, 2017
Y'all knew this man was "homophobic " for years and y'all wait until a Black women headline to try to boycott? Nope! #BoycottCoachella— Licorice2 (@Liccorice2) January 6, 2017
#boycottcoachella cus— HPNOTIQ & HA GAO (@BigDickDreidel) January 6, 2017
a) hate mongering conservatives profiting off culture & the youth
b) mozzy not on lineup
c) wasn't finna go anyway
I hope everyone who is planning to #BoycottCoachella is prepared to boycott everything that AEG has a stake in.— johnny luna (@WEIRDBEACH) January 5, 2017
It also appears that Anschutzs has issued a statement concerning the situation that cites:
Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news – it is all garbage. 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.
You can read the full transcript of Anschutz's statement here. In the meantime, stay tuned as we attempt to make sense of this situation and inform you accordingly.