SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Just three months after singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked stunned a San Francisco nightclub audience with a homophobic rant – which included the statement “God hates fags” – she is returning to the city to perform during Pride Week at the invitation of a local newspaper publisher.
Or is she?
Todd Vogt, president and publisher of the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Weekly and several other small local newspapers told KPIX 5 he invited Shocked to perform a concert here after he initially turned down her attempt to buy an ad in the SF Weekly’s “Pride Guide.”
“For all the money in the world, we weren’t going to take some hate-mongering homophobic ad,” Vogt said.
“But then she said, no, she really wanted to apologize and clarify what exactly happened at (SF nightclub) Yoshi’s,” said Vogt. “So we talked, and we decided the only way we’d do this is if you’d come to San Francisco, put on a free show, be honest and up front about it. She spoke to her people and decided to do it.”
Vogt said the concert is set for June 30th, but he is still negotiating with venues for the concert space.
Shocked took to the Yoshi’s stage March 17th, and lashed out against homosexuality. Concertgoers thought she was joking at first, but then after she refused to explain or backtrack, the crowd began walking out. The entire rest of her concert tour was later cancelled by the venue owners during the public backlash.
Critics have taken to Twitter over the last two days, blasting Vogt for having a “tin ear” for inviting Shocked back during an event that marks a celebration, but also a painful history for gay people.
Vogt said the timing was coincidental, but that he and his staff decided it would actually be “perfect.”
“We think this is a good thing for the city, the LGBT community, and an opportunity for Ms. Shocked to do a little mea culpa and face up to whatever she thinks,” Vogt said. “If she’s afforded the venue and she still can’t explain herself, then people can judge,” he said.
Shocked has participated in a couple of rambling interviews on radio and TV since the Yoshi’s incident.
Her eccentric public behavior included an appearance at her cancelled concert in Santa Cruz. A replacement band was on the stage while she sat outside, covered in a white jumpsuit with tape over her mouth.
Vogt said it’s still not clear whether Shocked will actually show up for her concert.
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