NXNE Says Action Bronson Will Perform, Despite 'Consensual Rape' Complaints
UPDATE: Action Bronson has now responded to the petition with two tweets, defending himself saying the song being cited as glorifying gang-raping women is five years old and has never been performed live.
It's so funny the song that is causing these Torontonians to have their panties in a bunch literally has never been performed, ever.— MR. WONDERFUL (@ActionBronson) May 27, 2015
5 years ago a lost track. That's what u base UR argument on? HOW ABOUT THE 9 PROJECTS THAT HAVE COME OUT SINCE? Don't single me out.— MR. WONDERFUL (@ActionBronson) May 27, 2015
Toronto music festival NXNE has issued a statement reminding fans there are plenty of other acts to go see if one doesn't like New York-based rapper Action Bronson, who is slated to perform at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 21. An online petition was started by an individual named Erica Shiner on Tuesday (May 26) based on Action Bronson's 2011 song, "Consensual Rape," which she refers to as "hate speech."
"Action Bronson glorifies gang-raping women," it says on the Change.org page. "It is an insult to the people of Toronto for NXNE, Now Magazine, Vans Footwear, and the City of Toronto to be featuring an artist on public property whose lyrics are as follows…"
After quoting some lyrics, it says: "A musician who glorifies rape and violence against women should never be allowed to perform at a public space in our city."
Yonge-Dundas Square is in the downtown core and can accommodate thousands of people. He played the same public space in 2012.
Shiner's petition met its initial goal of gathering 1500 signatures by early Wednesday afternoon. (It has since extended the goal to 2500 signatures.) Even so, NXNE is not pulling his appearance.
In the press release, it states: "Action Bronson performed at Yonge-Dundas Square as part of NXNE in 2012 with Killer Mike, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. It was a positive concert that was described by reviewers as 'laid back,' 'a lot of fun' and a 'world class hip-hop showcase.' NXNE is confident the lineup on June 21 at Yonge-Dundas Square will make for another enjoyable day of music in a public space."
Said NXNE managing director Sara Peel: "NXNE will also present a number of rap artists at various venues, such as Tink and Kate Tempest, who have be lauded for the undisguised feminist viewpoints in their music. That being said, in the interest of moving forward in a positive manner, we are engaging in discussion with our community about this important issue, and looking to provide opportunities for concerned voices to be heard."
"NXNE believes each and every one of these artists have the right to express their views through music, but those views belong to them and them alone," the release continues. "Those who are offended by an artist are invited to check out other Festival showcases, as NXNE will present hundreds of artists this June - some may be considered controversial, but most are just plain fun."
A second petition was started Tuesday by James Friske titled "Stop Feminist Extremists from Censoring Action Bronson's Free Speech and his Performance at NXNE." It has 11 supporters and a goal of 90.