In case you forgot, just last month GWU dropped Action Bronson from their Spring Fling concert roster after a petition was started. The petition was full of signatures from both the students and faculty over his lyrical content and explicit music videos. Now, Trinity University is following in GWU’s footsteps and has decided to not allow Bronson to perform on a show scheduled for April 30th:
“As both students and student leaders, we fully agree that it is not only certain songs by Action Bronson that go against the school’s mission. The very act of bringing him to this campus runs counter to the College’s obligation to protect the emotional and physical safety of its students,” Trinity’s Barnyard Entertainment said in a statement. “In addition, we are incredibly proud of the petition prompting the decision to remove Action Bronson from Spring Weekend. Members of our own executive and general committees have signed it and have encouraged others to sign as well. Not in recent memory have we seen such a diverse range of students, faculty, administration, alumni, friends of the college, and members of our larger Hartford community unite to promote positive change on this campus.”
Bronson was booked back in November to perform but since then a petition surfaced which was signed by over 1,000 students. The statement specified Action Bronson’s crude lyrics and videos, included with examples of misogyny and homophobia. Before the show was officially cancelled though the school proposed Bronson with a legal form telling him that he couldn’t perform any songs that went against the College’s missions. You can see both Bronson and the school’s released statement in full below:
I’m writing this letter to hopefully bring clarity to some misconceptions about who I am as an artist and as a person. It has become clear to me that things have reached a point which makes me feel the need to address the issues raised so that we can bring some understanding and healing to the table, so to speak. I can’t continue to walk around with the thought that people are thinking these things about me that are far from who I really am.
Five years ago in 2011, I wrote a song called “Consensual Rape” that admittedly contains lyrics and a general sentiment of violence towards woman which I never meant to represent who I am but rather to depict a story. I approach my music as other types of artists approach their work, and I don’t always intend the stories that I tell, the characters that I play in them or the lyrics I lay down to be taken literally. The songs I make aren’t any different than a director creating a movie, or an author writing a book meaning they contain scenes or things happen in them that aren’t meant to be anything but an artistic expression- just a song, a book or a film. I’ve never performed “Consensual Rape” at a concert, and I don’t plan to.
Regardless, I understand that when it comes to musicians, and more specifically rappers, the lyrics I say are taken to heart many times as a representation of my beliefs or true feelings. SO please let me make this very clear: I think rape and acts of violence toward woman are DISGUSTING. I would never condone anything remotely close to that type of behavior, and it’s certainly not what I’m about at all. But, the song in question has caused people discomfort and pain and I’m sincerely sorry about it. It was not my intention to hurt people when I made it years ago, and I certainly will be much more sensitive on this matter moving ahead.
Similarly, there has been some attention placed on a insensitive Instagram post I made years ago regarding me inappropriately labelling someone as transexual and being disrespectful to them in a way that is not ok. I have sat with members of the LGBT community recently in an effort to understand how to avoid being hurtful and insensitive towards these issues moving forward. I have never had any issues with anyone’s sexual orientation or gender transitioning. I’m far, far from perfect and I recognize my flaws and I’m making an effort to grow and be a better human.
Thanks for reading this.
This is the school’s letter:
We want to inform you that the rapper Action Bronson has been removed as the headliner for Spring Weekend 2016. Kehlani will still be performing.
We took the petition, “Remove Action Bronson from Trinity College’s Spring Weekend Concert,” which was published on Change.org, and the views expressed in the comment section very seriously. They were some of the most important factors in our decision to remove Action Bronson from our campus.
Action Bronson was originally voted to come to our campus as our headlining artist for Spring Weekend back in November. A legally binding contract went out to his team in January. He was suggested by our booking company, and then voted on only by EAC Barnyard’s executive board. No general members were involved in this process. Despite having done research on all of the musical artists we were looking into, we clearly did not do a thorough enough check into the content of Action Bronson’s lyrics and music videos. As a committee, we take responsibility for that mistake. We’ve taken the steps to improve EAC Barnyard’s process in choosing artists for future events.
In the beginning of March we were made aware of the severity and depth of some of Action Bronson’s lyrics. We began to create a strategy to keep members of our community safe and began drafting our response to the backlash that we anticipated. Following news that Action Bronson was being removed as the headlining artist for Spring Weekend at The George Washington University, our executive-board committee voted on March 31st to remove Action Bronson from our Spring Weekend concert because of his lyrics, music, videos, and the misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia that they promote. As a result, there was an overpowering majority to support the removal of Action Bronson. We would also like to state that we do not think that his lyrics are representative of all of Hip-Hop music and Hip-Hop culture. The result of this vote was taken to our administrative advisor from the S.A.I.L. office. Our concerns about bringing Action Bronson to campus were brought to other administrators and our contract was looked over by the College’s legal counsel who could not find a way out of our binding contract without losing the full amount of money that was promised in the contract. Through communication with the administration, it was decided that bringing Action Bronson to campus was the best option at the time, with the addition of a legal addendum, which would forbid Action Bronson from performing any songs that went against the College’s mission.
However, following the overwhelming concerns that were voiced through the petition and on campus, the executive board of EAC Barnyard voted again to remove Action Bronson from our Spring Weekend. 90% of our Executive Board expressed strong opposition to Action Bronson coming to campus. Neither the votes of EAC Barnyard’s general members nor the votes of our members abroad officially counted, though their views reflected the majority consensus of the executive board.
As both students and student leaders, we fully agree that it is not only certain songs by Action Bronson that go against the school’s mission. The very act of bringing him to this campus runs counter to the College’s obligation to protect the emotional and physical safety of its students. As the Executive Board of EAC Barnyard, we believe that protecting the safety of our students is our top priority. The Executive Board of EAC Barnyard would like to apologize for considering bringing Action Bronson, an explicitly unconscious rapper, to campus. We would like to apologize for any emotional harm that the decision has caused our community.
In addition, we are incredibly proud of the petition prompting the decision to remove Action Bronson from Spring Weekend. Members of our own executive and general committees have signed it and have encouraged others to sign as well. Not in recent memory have we seen such a diverse range of students, faculty, administration, alumni, friends of the college, and members of our larger Hartford community unite to promote positive change on this campus. We want to thank those who signed the petition for being brave enough to not only change the culture and climate at Trinity College, but to also construct a model that aims to affect positive social change.
We are extremely proud of the Trinity College students and community for taking a stance, and it is our hope that this model which you have laid forth can be followed by other institutions across the country.
With peace, love, and our full support,
Rose Carroll, President
Benjamin Chait, Vice President
The EAC Barnyard Executive Board