IDIOT FROM BIG & RICH APOLOGIZES FOR BEING A BOOB... SAYS HIS DAD AND MINISTER TAUGHT HIM BIGOTRY BUT HE'S SORRY AND PLEASE DON'T STOP BUYING HIS CDS
Please, no more hypocritical Republican morality sermons from John Rich
A friend of mine who works with Big & Rich at Warner Bros, and who felt "devastated" by John Rich's homophobic and hypocritical smearing of gay families last week, just sent me the canned, damage-control statement the p.r. department wrote for him:
"My earlier comments on same-sex marriage don't reflect my full views on the broader issues regarding tolerance and the treatment of gays and lesbians in our society. I apologize for that and wish to state clearly my views. I oppose same-sex marriage because my father and minister brought me up to believe that marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. However, I also believe that intolerance, bigotry and hatred are wrong. People should be judged based on their merits, not on their sexual orientation. We are all children of God and should be valued and respected."
I went back to some of the gay employees who seemed most hurt by his vituperative explosion of bigotry last week. Not a single one felt the apology was sincere, although they were all hopeful that the scare he got, which they felt made him issue it, might make him think a little harder next time he decides to express bigotry and hatred towards the people who have helped him build a career.
One gay man with a family told me, "You can't apologize after you say shit like that... what he originally said was how he really feels... I hope this will make him think it through more. I hope so."
Another WB employee, who has considered himself a personal friend of John Rich's, and said he felt not just "hurt" but also "betrayed," is glad Rich issued the "clarification." Still, he feels it "is disappointing to see such continued prejudice against gays and lesbians in this day and age. If bigotry and hatred are wrong then why would you prevent two adults who love each other and are willing to proclaim that love in public for their friends and family? As a person who's been in a stable, loving relationship for 12 years now (including both domestic partnership and public ceremony) and someone who has been working in support of Big & Rich professionally, I find it offensive that Mr. Rich has decided to make such a personal decision for me. Please mind your own business. In the words of the Dixie Chicks, 'Shut Up And Sing.'"
This guy works out in the field and is openly gay and has worked really hard to prove he could be the best in his field. I hired him many years ago and I saw how he grew and grew into an incredibly productive and dedicated part of a team. People have success at Warner Bros because of men and women like this guy. In the music business you don't succeed without a good song. And you don't succeed without a dedicated team behind you, getting your music into stores and magazines, on TV and radio. Big & Rich had a very devoted team behind them but Rich decided he's big enough now so that he doesn't think he needs them any more. Let's wait and see what happens.
UPDATE: A FAN SPEAKS OUT
Matthew Grant in Nashville likes Big & Rich's music. He says he "loves America, beer, his church and country music." And he's gay. Today's Tennessean published his letter to the editor asking John Rich to consider the impact his words of hatred have on the psyches of young people. He said it well:
There are a thousand young boys and girls who are fans of his, sitting in a room feeling so bad about themselves because they have feelings for the same sex that they do not understand or want. They get called a slur on the school bus and now, one of their favorite singers just said that they are "unnatural."
I would love to share with Mr. Rich the statistics of GLBT young people who kill themselves due to feeling "unnatural" and that there is no hope for them-- and of people who murder, "taught" to hate because of a statement that someone they knew or looked up to fed to them.
If you know of Big & Rich, their whole schtick is "Love Everybody." All we want is understanding and human rights.
As Mr. Rich counts his newfound money, he understands the power of his uneducated words as they leave his mouth and reach the ears and hearts of people who once looked up to him.