Action Bronson has faced further controversy this week, with yet a college show being cancelled yet again. This time it has been cancelled by Trinity College, as audiences and venues voice concerns over his music – particularly his 2011 song Consensual Rape.
Last month the chef-turned-rapper and TV show host was removed from the lineup for George Washington University’s Spring Fling event. The event organisers deemed some of Bronson’s lyrics and videos to be misogynistic and violent, and therefore inappropriate. Having also been pulled from last Summer’s NXNE festival for similar reasons, where he was due to perform a showcase, this latest cancellation for Trinity College’s Spring Fling does not bode well for Bronson.
Following another petition via change.org, the school’s president, vice president and Trinity College Barnyard Entertainment took the decision to cancel Bronson’s appearance at the event. A statement issued via Facebook announced the change just yesterday, ahead of the event taking place on April 30:
We want to inform you that the rapper Action Bronson has been removed as the headliner for Spring Weekend 2016. Kehlani will still be performing.
We took the petition, “Remove Action Bronson from Trinity College’s Spring Weekend Concert,” which was published on Change.org, and the views expressed in the comment section very seriously. They were some of the most important factors in our decision to remove Action Bronson from our campus.
The lengthy statement also outlined reasons for cancelling Bronson’s appearance, including the following:
As both students and student leaders, we fully agree that it is not only certain songs by Action Bronson that go against the school’s mission. The very act of bringing him to this campus runs counter to the College’s obligation to protect the emotional and physical safety of its students. As the Executive Board of EAC Barnyard, we believe that protecting the safety of our students is our top priority. The Executive Board of EAC Barnyard would like to apologize for considering bringing Action Bronson, an explicitly unconscious rapper, to campus. We would like to apologize for any emotional harm that the decision has caused our community.
They also expressed pride in the student body for actively protesting and voicing their concerns:
In addition, we are incredibly proud of the petition prompting the decision to remove Action Bronson from Spring Weekend. Members of our own executive and general committees have signed it and have encouraged others to sign as well. Not in recent memory have we seen such a diverse range of students, faculty, administration, alumni, friends of the college, and members of our larger Hartford community unite to promote positive change on this campus. We want to thank those who signed the petition for being brave enough to not only change the culture and climate at Trinity College, but to also construct a model that aims to affect positive social change.
Read the full statement here.
In response to the action from Trinity College, Action Bronson’s spokesperson directed all enquiries to the recent statement from Bronson that followed the cancellation by GWU. The open letter defended Bronson’s position as an artist by stating that not all his lyrics should be taken as a direct representation of his personal views. Commenting that his role is similar to that of a director or actor, it should not be assumed that he endorses views he puts forward through his art.
Undeniably, this is a fair statement, however the question of artists accountability still stands. And it appears that it may be too late for Bronson to retrospectively remedy what should have been made clear at the start.