John Hinckley Jr., who shot President Ronald Reagan and three other men in an unhinged bid to impress Jodie Foster, will not be performing in Brooklyn after all. The venue, Market Hotel, has released a lengthy statement calling their decision to host Hinckley “stunt booking” and suggesting that such a performance would be inappropriate in our current “dangerously radicalized, reactionary climate.”
Hinckley was released into the custody of his mother in 2016 after spending 34 years in institutional psychiatric care. Today, June 15th, he became free of court restrictions for the first time since his 1981 arrest. He was set to celebrate on his “Redemption Tour,” which included a sold-out stop in Brooklyn on July 8th.
“If we were going to host an event for the principle, and potentially put others at risk in doing so, it shouldn’t be for some stunt booking — no offense to the artist,“ Market Venue wrote in its statement. “We might feel differently if we believed the music was important and transcended the infamy, but that’s just not the case here (though any artist can get there — even someone who committed awful crimes and suffered mental illness).”
The statement continued, “We do believe that ex-cons and people will mental illness can recover, and that we should want them to maintain hope that they can better themselves and earn a chance to fully rejoin society… but we are living in dangerous times.”
It concluded, “It is not worth the gamble on the safety of our vulnerable communities to give a guy a microphone and a paycheck from his art who hasn’t had to earn it, who we don’t care about on an artistic level, and who upsets people in a dangerously radicalized, reactionary climate.” Check out the full statement below.
Other venues in Connecticut and Chicago also cancelled concerts for Hinckley’s “Redemption Tour” shortly after they were announced.
Hinckley hasn’t responded to the concert news, though he did post on Twitter to celebrate his emancipation from court control. “After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FREEDOM AT LAST!!!” he wrote.
After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FREEDOM AT LAST!!!
— John Hinckley (@JohnHinckley20) June 15, 2022