I don’t care how amazing Beyoncé’s performance was or how many Instagram likes you got—Phillip Anschutz, the man who owns Coachella, is an asshole.
Weekend one has come and gone, and millions of music lovers and socialites are in the midst of preparing for weekend two of one of the nation’s most popular music festivals. Meanwhile, everyone else without a trust fund is avoiding the hell that is social media during Coachella. But before you head to Indio, it’s time to get educated on a few important facts.
The Denver-based billionaire and Coachella owner, Phillip Anschutz, donated nearly $200,000 to conservative groups last year. According to Complex, these groups include anti-LGBTQ organizations such as Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, and National Christian Foundation.
The Family Research Council has an article on their website titled How to Respond to the LGBT Movement, which is basically poison and should be avoided at all costs; it denounces queers according to “science” and “evidence.”
As if matters could get worse, Billboard has reported, “he is an associate of the fiercely conservative Koch brothers, and many of his financial commitments have been purely partisan. Along with his wife, Nancy, he donated just over $1 million to Republican causes, with $500,000 directed to the Senate Leadership Fund, a Super PAC that focuses on maintaining and expanding the party’s Senate Majority.”
But don’t worry, the conservative hate-monger has denied all of this by claiming it “fake news,” which seems to be everyone’s favorite excuse lately.
In a statement to Rolling Stone ,he claimed, “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.”
Truth or not, there are plenty of other festivals to attend this year that lack this kind of problematic history. And if you really can’t sell that Weekend Two ticket, remember to make the desert a safe and welcoming-space for all attendees.
Just because Phillip Anschutz sucks, doesn’t mean you have to.
Photo courtesy Coachella Facebook