Calum Bennachie complained about Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All being scheduled to play at the Big Day Out in Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium because of their homophobic and misogynistic lyrics.
He sent the email to aspiring Chief Censor Sandra Coney, Chairperson of Auckland Council’s Parks, Recreation and Heritage Forum, among other people. She did some Youtubing, got in touch with John Brockies, the CEO of Regional Facilities Auckland who manages Mt Smart Stadium, and just like that, after a discussion with BDO organizers, OFWGKTA are playing Auckland’s BDO no more.
Change of heart?
This is clearly as a result of pressure from well-connected people and not BDO organizers realizing that they don’t want Odd Future as part of their lineup–they’re still playing the other BDO shows, and BDO’s promoter is organizing a solo show for them in Auckland. I await the results of many an official information request as to what the discussion with BDO organizers actually entailed.
Freedom of speech
There would be no issue if Odd Future weren’t invited to any BDO shows at all, or if, instead of being banished, they performed on a stage separate to the other acts.
I’ve read people talking about “a line” that can be crossed, referring to how far freedom of speech can go. That line doesn’t exist. You can take freedom of speech or leave it. It doesn’t exist to protect inoffensive speech or only popular viewpoints. Just because you know you’re right, doesn’t mean that “wrong” speech should be protected any less.
Image credit: Theo Grontis/thecomeupshow