Michelle Shocked's Tour Vanishes Following Anti-Gay Comments

6:00 AM PST 03/20/2013 by Marc Schneider, Billboard
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Ten out of eleven of the controversial singer's upcoming concert dates have been canceled by the venues themselves.

Michelle Shocked has gone silent after an alleged homophobic rant at a San Francisco concert Sunday night that has left her without a U.S. tour. Ten out of 11 of her upcoming concert dates have been canceled by the venues, Billboard has confirmed.

Clubs from Santa Cruz, Calif., to Evanston, Ill., have pulled Shocked from their schedules. Meander's Kitchen in Seattle nixed her April 26 show "due to her homophobic performance in San Francisco last night, during which she actually said 'God Hates Fags,'" the club wrote on Facebook.

Late Tuesday, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado replaced Shocked, who would have performed June 23.

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Yahoo Music reports that the indie-folk singer went on an anti-gay marriage rant before her second set at Yoshi's in San Francisco on St. Patrick's Day.

"When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back," she reportedly said, and "You can go on Twitter and say, 'Michelle Shocked says God hates (anti-gay slur).'"

At that point the venue attempted to mute the singer and announced the show was over.

Whether the "God hates" comment was meant to be sarcastic is unclear; Shocked has not commented directly on the incident and has instead taken to Twitter to retweet others who either defend or demonize her. Many of the commenters suggest she was being ironic. However, other retweets don't carry a clear motive. (Also via Twitter, the singer turned down The Hollywood Reporter's request for an interview.)

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Shocked, whose albums include 1988's Short Sharp Shocked and 1992's Arkansas Traveler, has made anti-gay comments before. At the Wild Goose Festival in 2011, she was asked by an audience member what her stance on homosexuality was.

"Who drafted me as a gay icon? You are looking at the world’s greatest homophobe. Ask God what He thinks," she said, according to Religion Dispatches.

Those comments did not raise the same kind of furor as her San Francisco rant. Meanwhile, her handling of this scandal has also come under fire.

Canceled Dates:

April 23 at McCabe's in Santa Monica, Calif.
April 28 at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz, Calif.
April 29 at HopMonk in Novato, Calif.
April 24 at the Palms Playhouse in Winter, Calif.
April 25 at the Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland, Ore.
April 26 at Meanders Kitchen in Seattle
April 27 at Cozmic in Eugene, Ore.
May 3 at eTown Hall in Boulder, Colo.
May 5 at S.P.A.C.E in Evanston, Ill.
June 23 at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival

The only U.S. date that has not canceled Shocked at this point is the Harmony Bar in Madison, Wis., where a person answering the phone Tuesday evening responded, "I won't know a damn thing until the boss comes back in 8 days."

Twitter: @billboard

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