Action Bronson was pulled from George Washington University's spring concert after students flocked to the internet to protest the would-have-been headliner. Inside Higher Ed reports that the chief concern of students was one of the rapper's older songs, "Consensual Rape."
Many students complained that the lyrics seemed to depict a woman being drugged and raped. One of the many offensive lines from the song goes a little like this: "Then dig your shorty out cuz I geeked her up on Molly."
One student Emily Milakovic started a petition for Bronson to be cut from the lineup.
"A man with his views, his history of misogyny and promotion of violence isn't someone who belongs on our campus," said Milakovic.
GW's Program Board tried to rectify the situation by assuring students that Bronson wouldn't play "Consensual Rape" but by the time Milakovic's peition had gained 347 signatures the Board pulled Bronson from the lineup. In a post on Facebook they wrote "We apologize to the GW community for causing distress over the past few days and for attempting to bring an artist who is not consistent with our values of diversity and inclusion."
Broson responded with, "Five years ago in 2011, I wrote a song called 'Consensual Rape' that admittedly contains lyrics and a general sentiment of violence towards woman [sic] which I never meant to represent who I am but rather to depict a story …. But, the song in question has caused people discomfort and pain and I’m sincerely sorry about it. It was not my intention to hurt people when I made it years ago, and I certainly will be much more sensitive on this matter moving ahead," on his Facebook.
Bronson isn't the first rapper to cause an uproar among the student body. Last year students at Princeton University objected to Big Sean performing on campus because they thought his lyrics were sexist and repulsive.
Some students drafted a counterpetition for Bronson to be reinstated as the headliner and accusing the board of caving to a loud minority. The petition, which had nearly 500 signees read, “By removing Action Bronson we are limiting free speech and free artistic expression."
Samantha Harris, a lawyer for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said it’s important to note that this isn’t a case of institutional censorship. However, she said that the issue does raise concern because what might cross the line for someone, might not for the next person.
Lead Image Credit: Jeremy Perez via flickr.com Creative Commons