UPDATE: Action Bronson has responded to the petition on Twitter — please see tweets at bottom of story.
NOTE: The article below contains graphic language and descriptions.
Toronto's NXNE festival is coming up on June 17, 2015, a five-day extravaganza of every kind of music. But one of the feature concerts for the event is under heavy criticism after a Toronto woman launched a petition against chef-turned-rapper Action Bronson being included in the lineup.
Bronson, an artist from Brooklyn, New York, is set to perform on June 21 at Yonge-Dundas Square at a free show that will also include Ty Dolla $ign, Casey Veggies and Nue. But a protest on Change.org launched by Erica Shiner wants to put an end to that:
"Action bronson glorifies gang-raping women. 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: 'Then dig your shorty out cuz I geeked her up on molly; Have her eating dick, no need for seasoning.'"
The lyrics, from Bronson's 2011 song "Consensual Rape," are hate speech, continues the petition. "A musician who glorifies rape and violence against women should never be allowed to perform at a public space in our city."
Plenty of people across the city have shown their support for the petition, with more than 1,800 signatures now on the form:
Music that glorifies rape should not be allowed on public property. (TW the lyrics are somehting else) https://t.co/v6DNSo1P5t— Morgan Baskin (@MorganBaskinTO) May 27, 2015
Others have pointed out rap's historical problems with misogyny, as well as Bronson's past performances at the same space.
LOL at the "Action Bronson played YD Square 3 years ago why are people mad now" argument as though we had everything figured out 3 years ago— Matt Collins (@mitchberghini) May 27, 2015
"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. 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."
They also noted the festival will include rappers with feminist viewpoints, such as Tink and Kate Tempest. But the statement only seemed to fuel the fire, as comments on the site's Facebook page found the response unacceptable and disappointing:
For the time being, the concert will go on as scheduled.
Bronson addressed the controversy on Twitter late Tuesday afternoon:
HAHAHAHA I THOUGHT THEY LOVED ME IN TORONTO!!! I CANT WAIT TO COME!!! ILL SEE AT NXNE.— MR. WONDERFUL (@ActionBronson) May 27, 2015
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
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