Coachella’s Owner Philip Anschutz Exposed As Major Backer of Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups
The 2017 Coachella Music and Arts Festival is one of the biggest outdoor extravaganzas of the year. The Indio, Calif. festival boasts an impressive lineup this year; Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar are headlining. However, news about Coachella’s owner has come to light that could put the festival's future in jeopardy.
AEG, a company founded by entertainment magnate Philip Anschutz, who is also part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, and who owns other big music festivals, happens to be a major Republican donor of several extremist hate groups as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
According to Teen Vogue, Anschutz has reportedly donated thousands of dollars to anti-LGBTQ group for years. The Anschutz Foundation has purportedly gifted over a combined $190,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation and the Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013. All three of these organizations have campaigned against LGBTQ rights.
Ian Silverii, the executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, released a statement about Anschutz’s donations back in 2016, saying (via UPROXX):
Phil Anschutz’s extensive influence in Colorado politics has been known for years, but the degree of his support for anti-LGBTQ groups that fund extremist hate groups like Gordon Kligenschmitt’s ‘Pray in Jesus Name’ is shocking. At a time in American history when discrimination and violence against LGBTQ citizens is on the rise, support for pro-discrimination groups puts Anschutz on the wrong side of Colorado, and on the wrong side of history."
On top of that, Anschutz — who is billionaire oil and gas tycoon - also backs "climate science denial groups," according to Greenpeace.
Upon news of Anschutz’s donations hitting the internet, fans have expressed their disappointment and encouraged others to not support the festival. Read some of the reactions below.