Ariana Grande Gave A Big ‘F**k You’ To Coachella’s Anti-Gay CEO During Her Set—But For Some Fans It Was Too Little, Too Late

Coachella-founder Philip Anschutz may be labeled a “recluse” by some, but he’s labeled by all a “Christian conservative.”

As anyone in the LGBTQ+ community knows, Christian conservative spells “bad news.”

Anschutz is shown to have ties to and has made sizable donations to the following groups, according to Pitchfork:

The Navigators ($40,000; donation dated November 15, 2016) A 2013 document on their website lists being LGBTQ alongside incest and sexual abuse as behavior leading to “sexual brokenness.”

Dare 2 Share Ministries ($50,000; August 23, 2016) Greg Stier, who’s namedon this group’s website as its founder and CEO, wrote on the site in a 2008 blog post, “Homosexuality is a Satanic perversion of God’s gift of sex.”

Young Life ($185,000; June 21 and November 15, 2016) This Christian youth ministry’s website has a 2017 policy stating that anyone who is “sexually active outside of a heterosexual marriage relationship” shouldn’t work or volunteer for the organization.

Center for Urban Renewal and Education ($25,000; August 23, 2016) This group’s founder and president, Star Parker, said on “Fox & Friends” last year that the Confederate flag and the rainbow LGBTQ pride flag “represent the exact same thing.” She has also said that gay marriage and legal abortion show that “we’re sick as a country.”

Movieguide Awards ($25,000; July 19, 2016) This annual awards show is held by Movieguide, a reviews site that includes varying degrees of “homosexual worldview” in its ratings criteria. In a 2012 article on the site, Movieguide founder Ted Baehr and editor Tom Snyder referred to “evils like adultery, rape, homosexuality, lying, arrogance, theft, murder, and malice.” They also wrote, “Kirk Cameron was perfectly correct when he said homosexuality is “unnatural’ and ‘destructive.”

Y. I. K. E. S.

With five (yes, FIVE) anti-gay groups on the books and likely many more anti-gay sentiments in his heart, people have begun trending #boycottCoachella.

Coachella, the music festival which is part of Anschutz Entertainment (of which Anschutz is the CEO of), having anti-LGBTQ+ ties is only matched in irony by former Republican representative and highly anti-LGBTQ+-legislator Aaron Schock (R-IL) being captured making out with dudes at the music festival this past weekend.

But rather than boycott the festival outright, Ariana Grande, who is one of this year’s headliners, decided to do something about it.

Grande ended her performance by “displaying a giant rainbow Pride flag across the stage’s screens. She also waved a small flag during her performance and fireworks went off as she left the stage.”

The performance does seem like a giant middle finger to Anschutz.

But, some are skeptical of her intentions and the effectiveness of this particular gesture.


Anschutz has addressed the issue of his donations to these anti-LGBTQ+ organizations in an interview in 2017:

“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.” 

He also said he’d stopped giving to groups with anti-LGBTQ+ ties—which, as of January 3, 2019, is patently untrue.

So, what is the answer?  Clearly, people are not boycotting Coachella. Should artists refuse to go, or do they use their performance as a platform to make a statement?

Either way, you can’t keep everybody happy.

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