Alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked goes on homophobic rant, Yoshi's says she won't be back

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Shocked at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, 2007.
PHOTO BY SIGMUND/CREATIVE COMMONS.

UPDATE: now with audio of the incident. 

What is going on with Michelle Shocked? The Texas alt-folk singer-songwriter, formerly known as a leftist-feminist relic of the late 1980s/early '90s, apparently went on a homophobic rant at one of her two Yoshi's shows this past Sunday in San Francisco.

As the Bay Area Reporter notes, Shocked, who seems to have found religion in the past decade, told the Yoshi's crowd: “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization and Jesus will come back.”

As Queerty.com reports, “The singer has been open about being a born-again Christian, but was still active in progressive politics. (She was arrested at an Occupy LA event in 2011).”

Here's more from the Bay Area Reporter on the incident this weekend:
One woman shouted: "Don't say that shit in San Francisco."

Shocked replied, "Where do I go to say it?”

In response to audience reaction, Shocked offered a Spanish prayer that "God loves you. God loves us. God loves us all everywhere." Later, in English, she said: "God bless us everyone."

Many fans questioned the singer out loud: "What are you saying?"

With a broad smile, Shocked said. "You are going to leave here and tell people 'Michelle Shocked said God hates faggots.'"

By that point, much of the audience had walked out in disgust, and Yoshi's management later cut the mics and turned on the lights, as Shocked continued to perform.

The story blew up on Twitter, as audience members tweeted confused reactions to the singer's offensive comments.

Yoshi's SF director of marketing and public relations Lisa Bautista answered my call this morning and said she was not there when the incident happened, but she did get a phone call from Yoshi's artistic director Derek Hunter after Shocked's show. Hunter confirmed they did indeed stop the show. Bautista also got additional comments from people who were present.

In his official statement to Bautista, Hunter said, "This was Michelle Shock's third visit to Yoshi's San Francisco; her first was March 2009. She has never given any indication that she is anti-gay or racist in her previous plays. She obviously has some serious issues and unfortunately chose our venue to vent them."

Added Bautista to me, “[Shocked] won't be back.” Bautista also had venues nationwide calling this morning to verify if Shocked made such remarks.

Novato's Hopmonk Tavern sent out a release this afternoon canceling Shocked's scheduled show: “Due to comments made by Michelle Shocked at Yoshi’s in San Francisco last night, March 17, we have decided to cancel our show with Michelle on March 29. Refunds can be made at place of purchase.”

Truly, an upsetting incident for all those involved, especially ticket-holders and former fans of the singer.

**UPDATE: @yoshisSF_OAK tweeted this at 1:40PM today: "WE AT YOSHI'S SF DO NOT & WILL NOT EVER TOLERATE THE TYPE OF BIGOTRY & HATRED EXHIBITED LAST NIGHT BY @MShocked SHE WILL NEVER BE BACK."

**UPDATE 2: An anonymous audience member was recording the incident and sent us the file, which you can listen to below: 

Comments

Thank you for being the only news outlet bother to get confirmation of what was said. I have seen my effort to condense a long rant into a short paraphrasing tweet be turned into a direct quote which is very disturbing. However, it was almost a if she had planned the while thing from the beginning,as I look back on it. The whole night was a confusing, shocking and bizarre experience, from the beginning when she walked out onto the stage and announced that she was terrified, that she saw so many smiling faves but they might turn on her by the end of the night, asking the"invisible man in the audience" for strength to help her get through the night, asking us to tweet her reminding her that "this is supposed to be fun"

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

Deuteronomy 22:5

Posted by When the right do it its free speech, the left its bigoty on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

I'm glad Michelle stated what she truly feels. I think gay sex makes me hurl, and even though I've never myself stated such a thing, I made a resolution to make a statement - I voted for the 14 non-gay supervisors. I strongly support Prop. 8. and I glad southern California backed me up on that issue because around here in the outer Mission it seems like a joke when gays seem they can go about trying to grab anyone's male parts at the bustop
to initiate what to me is a criminal act.
And I have seen worse from other lezes and gays on children. (Even though they were retarded.)

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

You THINK gay sex makes you hurl? You don't know for sure? So, you are an idiot, and instead of worrying about Gay marriage and its supposed sanctity, why not deal with straight divorce, and its alarming rise. Stop flattering yourself that all gays want to grab your parts. Like anyone, gay people have preferences, and we enjoy someone with a high intellect, because intelligence is sexy, so naturally, that leaves you out.
and p.s. If you want to use the offensive term "Lezzies" please know how to spell it.

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Posted by appartement draguignan on Dec. 11, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

I have never attempted to grab a strangers genitals in a bus stop, and I never would. I think you are talking a bunch of crap, and you are clearly very prejudiced, bigoted, ignorant, intolerant and full of hate, malice, and vindictiveness. Your attempt to link a gay or bisexual sexual orientation with child sex abuse, is insidious, pathetic and desperate. Grow up and stop using God as an excuse to be an obnoxious fascist.

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Posted by electricity how it works on Oct. 15, 2013 @ 6:46 am

You make ME hurl.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

So don't have gay sex. Btw I imagine sex with someone as bigoted as you would make hurl. That doesn't mean I'm for creating laws that would harm you or your family.

Posted by Guest EloyMiguel on Mar. 23, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

Good point. Let's outlaw heterosexual marriage, too. We have to because of all those men who think they can grope any woman without her consent.

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Posted by διαιτολογος on Feb. 08, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

I say good for her. She used the platform that God gave her to speak the truth. God will bless her in spite of the violent backlash of the bigoted God hating intolerant bullys .

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

"Man created God in his image : intolerant, sexist, homophobic and violent." - Marie De France

Posted by Guest on Apr. 03, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

Michelle is a victim. This does not mean that I condone her hateful words and attitudes in the least. But I think what got lost in the controversy is any thoughtful examination of her vulnerable psychological state, and the religious culture that preys on vulnerable people like her. There is some indication that she has had conflicting feelings about her sexual identity from a young age. As she said to one journalist,
"I resent like hell that I was maybe 18 years old before I even heard the 'L' word. I mean, that's understood, growing up sheltered in a Mormon environment. But it would have made all the difference for me had I grown up knowing that the reason I didn't fit in, was because they hadn't told me there were more categories to fit into."

So she was raised a Mormon, and her mother had her committed to a psychiatric hospital during her teenage years. How many gay kids have had similar experiences, particularly those coming from a religious background? It is bound to cause anyone inner conflicts and perhaps self-hate. In all likelihood, she turned to religion to deal with some of this psychological pain, as so many do, and got pressured to internalize the homophobic attitudes so prevalent in the evangelical world. And let's not forget that she was raised in Texas where it's practically part of the culture. Again, this doesn't excuse what she said. While her remarks were reprehensible, Michelle deserves more compassion.

Posted by Andrew on Mar. 24, 2013 @ 11:37 am

We therefore issue the following statement:

Michelle Shocked is no longer welcome in San Francisco.

The REAL San Francisco Anti-Stupidity Campaign

Posted by The REAL San Francisco Anti-Stupidity Campaign on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

I suppose that means you only believe people have rights if you agree with their politics. Thanks for showing typical leftist bigotry.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:31 am

Ah yes the typical right-wing "I'm allowed to be racist and bigoted to other people" and you're a bigot for objecting to my prejudices against other human beings.

Try again.

Posted by DukeLaw on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:53 am

Left wing bullshit. You preach tolerance and acceptance but when someone disagrees with what YOU believe in...oh no my lord they must be a nut job right wing republican. You are some of the most HYPOCRITICAL people I have ever seen! The day you accept EVERYONE for what they may or may not believe in is the day you can pass judgement. You're no better than them...so look in the mirror FOOL

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

Yes, our intolerance of hatred & bigotry, and being against a campaign to ensure people in America do not have equal rights, means that we are commies, nazis, and - as you keep telling us over and over and over - hypocrites.
Your argument seems to be that if only we were to embrace your hatred, we would all be better off. Truly bizarre - and not a little childish.

You right wingers really have pretty much zero self awareness or critical thinking skills, huh.

Posted by cinesimon on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

intolerance of intolerance.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

Nonsense. All intolerance is not the same. We don't collectively "tolerate" injustice, murder, rape, child abuse, etc. and we have the laws to prove it.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

intolerance is not an absolute concept either.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

tolerance of only those you agree with is not tolerance stupid. Homos demand tolerance for their perversion yet bully harass attack anyone who disagrees with them in the most intolerant bigoted way possible Face it Sodomites are at enmity with God . You hate God (therefore anyone who tells you the truth) and God hates you.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

and I can't wait to fuck my gorgeous husband. Your point?

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Posted by sandiegoelderlaw on Feb. 17, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

Im not a democrat OR republican dumbass....I'm an AMERICAN. And before you go throwing shit around like you know me ...you don't. I have many gay and lesbian friends...I myself personally don't care if couples of the same sex are together. Happiness comes in many forms and who am I to stop them? So you're wrong . I was saying you're a hypocrite because even though you might not like it, everyone is entitled to feel the way they do..you, me and anyone else on this planet have no right to judge others for what they do and don't believe. You can voice your opinion as you have...but please stop preaching tolerance and acceptance when you yourself can't accept these people for who and what they are. And as far as being childish...that was the dumbest thing I've ever heard...once again, LOOK IN THE MIRROR

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

This is right-wing bullshit, of the usual kind. The right think they can spew all kinds of bigotry and hatred and call it freedom, but people not agreeing with them is "unfair". Just as you can spout your vitriolic bullshit, others can offer an alternative view, and prevent that kind of hatred too.

Let me guess, you're one of those who thinks hotels should be able to refuse gay people on religious grounds, but you throw a fit when this bigot is refused a venue to spout her bile on stage?
That's blatant hypocrisy, something the right-wing US are world renowned for. No one has as many faces as a hypocrite Republican!
If a business should have the freedom to refuse a gay couple, every venue in America has the right to tell this religious nut case to f-off.

Guess what? The majority walked out, and plenty of them openly argued her views right there from the audience. You can hear it for yourself.

This shows that bigoted right-wing opinions are a minority, as they have been for the last ten years across America. You're a dying breed (thankfully) and soon the USA will finally be free of this ignorant rubbish as more and more socially aware venues, businesses, labels and TV stations wise up and realize that this is hate speech, not freedom of speech.

It's great to hear the response of the audience in the recording. So many of them walked out, and that hateful witch watched her career nosedive in the space of half an hour.

Bigots are increasingly unwelcome throughout society, and it's great to see them being marginalized and ignored. If you have this kind of hateful view, you don't deserve the recognition for anything else.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 25, 2013 @ 5:24 am

At some point, you have to be intolerant of hate speech and hate actions, or the next thing you know all the people being "hated" rounded up and put into concentration camps. She expressing an opinion that leads to terrorization of a particular group. Sorry, but I don't accept that, I'd like to avoid living through a nazi germany like state. The "acceptance" part is that she's allowed to say it without being jailed as a result.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

I suspect that you define it differently than I do, which may explain much of the difference here.

Remember that free speech is a hall amrk of our nation AND so is tolerance of others whom we may disagree with.

Posted by anon on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

That really is it, isn't it?

Posted by C. SINGS on Mar. 21, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

To what "rights" do you refer? Michelle Shocked has the right to spew hate speech, and Yoshi's - as well as any other venue - has the right to deny her a soapbox for views they find intolerable. It's amusing, but just barely, that you find intolerance to bigotry to be "bigotry." But, of course, the glue that holds all the various types of "conservatives" together is: bigotry.

Posted by War Blur on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:36 am

Both bigots and those who oppose them are capable of resorting to hate and violence in support of what they believe in.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 10:01 am

There is nothing wrong with being intolerant to someone who wishes to deny others of civil rights, so long as one is not resorting to violence toward them. For example, I would hope all rational people are intolerant of racists who think African-Americans should not have equal rights as other citizens of the United States.

Also, being intolerant of bigotry is not "bigotry" itself. Bigotry means to have a generally irrational hatred or contempt of someone simply for who they are.

One can strongly reject someone's ideas and opinions without having irrational hatred or contempt for the individual.

Posted by Chris on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

Hate speech is not okay -- Period. It can be an enhancement to a crime if it leads to violence, which it often does. That's why we are intolerant of bigotry. It is not just objectionable. It makes people less safe. And for this reason, it is just unacceptable.

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Posted by core keygen on Mar. 12, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

what a crock of crap. you demand that people tolerate you though they disagree with you though you are not willing to extend the same courtesy to others. Who are the bigots here but the God hating intolerant homosexualists that DEMAND that olny their point of view shoud have a place at the table to the exclusion of all others. Its homo-fascism. TOO BAD, that YOU don't set the standards. GOD set them and Michelle spoke the truth- no matter how much you bully her into an apology or into silence.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

you've got a lot of stuff to work out. Just come out already.

Posted by marke on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

Did you see the reaction to the Dixie Chicks when all they said was that they were embarrassed the G. W. Bush was from Texas. "Good conservatives" game unglued with rallies, CD burning parties and death threats.. . . You have no comparison, or argument.

Posted by Guest Oftenlucid on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:52 am

>I suppose that means you only believe people have rights if you agree with their politics. Thanks for showing typical leftist bigotry.

Not all bigotry is created equal.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 11:48 am

Neither Ms. Shocked nor any person of ANY political persuasion has any right to sing or state any opinion (or for that matter, to stand) on the stage of a privately owned venue.

The only right Ms. Shocked has is not to have the government prevent her from verbalizing her opinions.

Freedom of expression does not mean freedom FROM criticism, regardless of ones views. All others have the equal freedom to criticize ones views and reject ones opinions.

Posted by Chris on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

What part of "private club" do you not understand? I have no "right" to perform at Yoshi's, or any other venue. It is Yoshi's right to decide whether or not to let me play in their private space.

Buck Owen's Crystal Palace isn't obligated to let me play "leftist" music either. This isn't hard. Try thinking.

Posted by PatrickG on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

And I suppose that means you only believe people have rights if you you agree with their anti-gay politics. Thanks for showing typical CONservative bigotry.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

artist's right to free speech.

I don't like it when artists pratt on about politics but there is no reason to take a view on it either way.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

Her rights were not restricted because she had NO rights with respect to a private venue.

Yoshi's is a privately owned club. One does not have a right to even set foot inside a private club without the owner's permission. Also, one only has the freedom to do or say what the owner of a private venue gives one the freedom to do.

If Yoshi's management wanted to forbid her from even open her mouth, they would certainly have every right to do so on their own private property.

Posted by Chris on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

If Michelle had stated at the encore of her show that she was Jewish and you ran her off of the stage she would have a discrimination suit against them. Too bad that in this God damned (as in cursed of GOD) nation that the antichristian bigoted intolerant pro-sodomite courts lawyers and civil rights groups do not offer equal protections to Christians. A sure sign that America is in its last days.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

Too bad for all you God hating intolerant bullies. Michelle doesn't need your invitation to travel freely in America. -but good job exposing your own antichristian anti American ignorance intolerance and bigotry . We see the real bullies are the homos and their enablers.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

This really seems to be a good report of what actually happened - except for the headline. Being against gay marriage and being anti-gay are not quite the same thing, and being against gay marriage is not inherently homophobic, though sometimes it overlaps. Her comment about tweeting that "Michelle Shocked says that God hates fags" seems to mean that she realized that people would confuse the two. And of course, that's exactly what's happening.

But her thing has always been to speak whatever she thinks is the truth, and it's actually amusing to watch the leftists get a dose of what she has been handing out to rightist for so long.

She's a fruitcake. But when she was a left wing fruitcake, that was just fine. Now that she says something leftists don't like, they can't handle it.

Posted by punditius on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

to be homophobic or religious at all. Many people do not realize that.

Posted by anon on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

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