George Washington University scraps Action Bronson performance for “blatant misogyny” and “transphobia”

Queens rapper has since apologized for his lyrical content

Photo by ​Eric Tra

Action Bronson has been removed as a headliner of George Washington University’s annual Spring Fling concert taking place this Saturday, April 2nd, XXL reports. Concert organizers made the decision after students — led by the Sarah Blugis, the opinions editor for school newspaper the GW Hatchet — complained about Bronson’s “blatant misogyny” and “history of public transphobia.”

In an editorial published Tuesday, March 29th, Blugis voiced the student body’s concerns about the proposed Spring Fling headliner. “Bronson has a history of public transphobia, and has mocked transgender people on Instagram,” she wrote. “He’s also been widely criticized for the song ‘Consensual Rape,’ in which he describes drugging and raping a woman. One of his music videos, for a song called ‘Brunch,’ depicts Bronson cooking a meal next to a woman’s dead body, putting her body in the trunk of his car, then stabbing her repeatedly while shouting gendered insults.” She noted that this controversy led to Bronson’s removal from the lineup of last year’s North by Northeast Festival in Toronto, and argued that school officials at GWU should follow suit.’’

In response to his removal from the concert, Action Bronson released a contrite statement, claiming, “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.” Read his full statement below:

To the Students at George Washington University and the public at large:

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.

-Action Bronson


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