Coachella owner Phil Anschutz funds right-wing groups that oppose LGBTQ rights and deny climate change.
The Internet rejoiced when the star-studded Coachella lineup was announced, which includes headliners Radiohead, Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar. Tickets reportedly sold out within three hours, but not long after that news trickled in that the music festival's head honcho, Phil Anschutz, the owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG Live), the company which operates Goldenvoice, the promoter of Coachella, is a radical terrorizer who donates to anti-LGBTQ groups that fund extremist hate groups, like the Family Research Council, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the National Christian Foundation, as well as organizations who outright deny the planet's dire environmental state.
"The Anschutz Foundation gave $110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom, $50,000 to National Christian Foundation, and $30,000 to Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013, all of which have been known to support prejudice against LGBTQ efforts. Since 2008, the Anschutz Foundation has donated $175,000 to the Mission America Foundation, a far-right organization whose president considers homosexuality to be a “deviance.” Anschutz’ Walden Media group funds films that support his political views as well, funding “Won’t Back Down” and “Waiting For Superman” which are pro-charter school and anti-teachers union. To add insult to injury, Greenpeace notes that media companies owned by Anschutz figure prominently in the denial of climate science and the promotion of climate-change skepticism and even went as far as suing a small town for their regulations on fracking, but eventually lost the case."
Anschutz's camp dismissed the claims, saying “those donations are made in accordance with our process and guidelines, and neither process or guidelines identify or reference in any way sexual orientation or gender issues."
They added: "Mr. Anschutz, and the Anschutz companies, invest in many businesses employing tens of thousands of people. In all instances, personal lifestyles are neither a requirement or limitation to employment."
Deny away, but the mighty dollar doesn't lie. This is an opportunity for the performers to flex inclusivity within their sets. Beyonce is known for making her mark with elaborate accompanying visuals, so it'll be interesting to see how she handles the controversy come April.