In one of those depressing, periodic reminders that almost everything you love is, ultimately, probably owned by a handful of rich, angry white dudes, Pitchfork issued a report today investigating the charitable contributions of Coachella co-owner Philip Anschutz. Anschutz—whose AEG bought a controlling stake in Goldenvoice, the company that runs the influential music festival, a few years back—came under heavy criticism last year when it was revealed that he’d donated to a number of anti-LGBTQ causes over the years, including at least one that was cited as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He responded to the uproar by claiming to have stopped all donations to such groups (while also using the phrase “fake news,” just so you’d still remember that he’s an old buddy of the arch-conservative Koch brothers in the process).
Now, though, people digging through the most recent charitable giving statements from Anschutz and the foundation that carries his name have found even more questionable groups that are still apparently receiving money, including multiple entities—mostly religion-based—claiming that homosexuality is dangerous or sinful. Pitchfork notes that Anschutz’s group has given money to organizations like The Navigators—who lump LGBTQ people in with other hallmarks of “sexual brokenness”—Dare 2 Share Ministries—whose CEO once stated that “Homosexuality is a Satanic perversion of God’s gift of sex”—and other groups harboring similar opinions. The donations ranged from $25,000 to as much as $185,000, at least some of which presumably started in some small part as Coachella ticket costs.
Anschutz’s lawyer responded to the questions about this continued giving to questionable groups, stating that “we unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation,” and claiming that the vetting process for the various groups the foundation donates to is long, slow and involved, and that it hopes to remove all of the anti-LGBTQ groups from its roster of donations in time. You can read the full statement here.
Coachella kicks off this year on April 13; Beyoncé has signed on to headline 2018's festival.