Last summer, an article in the Washington Post exposed nearly $200,000 in contributions from the Anschutz Foundation to the Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, and the National Christian Foundation, all of which have been staunch opponents in the fight for LGBTQ equality.
But in what seems like a change of heart, or a lot of pressure Phil Anschutz — Colorado billionaire, owner of entertainment conglomerate AEG, and frontman for the Anschutz Foundation — has ceased his donations to these far right, anti-queer groups.
“We called on Phil Anschutz to immediately stop funding these groups, for whom anti-LGBT discrimination is plainly central to their mission — and it’s our understanding that he has done so,” says ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Ian Silverii.
“It is heartening to see Phil Anschutz give his unequivocal support of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, and we appreciate that the Anschutz Foundation has stopped funding anti-LGBTQ hate groups after the Washington Post revealed the funding in their July article,” said One ColoradoExecutive Director, Daniel Ramos. “We are grateful that Phil Anschutz looked at the facts and did the right thing after our organization and others asked him to cease funding these groups.”
The Anschutz Corporation’s subsidiary, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), presents music and entertainment events around the world. AEG is also the parent company of Goldenvoice, which produces Coachella and manages the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers basketball teams.
While Phil has came under fire in the past for his staunch conservative views, the most recent backlash came just a week after the Coachella lineup, which includes Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead, Bon Iver, and the queen bee herself — Beyonce, was released to the public.
Oddly enough, Phil snapped back at the media through Huffington Post even after ceasing the donations to anti-queer groups.
“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 wrote. “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.
Both The Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes. Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of The Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.”
Think on that before you sell your left lung for Coachella tickets …