Michelle Shocked breaks silence, Telluride joins wave of cancellations



Michelle Shocked
“Truth is leading to a painful confrontation,” predicted Michelle Shocked on Twitter following her controversial San Francisco show Sunday evening. During the musician’s subsequent two-day silence, press and public speculation ran high as to why the born-again folksinger reportedly turned her set into a platform for criticizing gay marriage.

As reported in yesterday’s IndyBlog, Shocked actually has a substantial history of more outrageous, if largely forgotten, incidents that suggest a pattern of insensitivity toward minority issues. Among them was a treatise, co-written with then-husband Bart Bull, that equated hip-hop with minstrel shows. The couple also filed a lawsuit against the musician’s label, bizarrely invoking the anti-slavery 13th amendment as a ploy to get out of her record contract.

In the midst of the current uproar, venues across the country have now cancelled virtually all the dates on her upcoming tour. The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which cited its 20-year relationship with the artist as reason for delaying a decision, pulled the plug last night.

Meanwhile, Shocked has finally ended her silence by issuing two back-to-back statements, in which she contends that her comments were actually critiques of other Christians' anti-gay views that she does not share.

“I may disagree with someone’s most fervently held belief, but I will not hate them,” writes the musician. “And in this controversy, that means speaking for Christians with opinions I in no way share about homosexuality. Will I endorse them? Never. Will I disavow them? Never.”

Shocked also insists her support for the LBGT community “has never wavered” and that activism has always been part of her work. “I'd like to say this was a publicity stunt,” she adds, “but I'm really not that clever, and I'm definitely not that cynical.”

You can go here to read the artist’s statements and listen to a recording of the incident that touched off the controversy.

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