Coachella made news earlier this week when it announced this year’s lineup, including the all-star headliners Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and Radiohead. Now the festival is in the news again, but for less endearing reasons.
The owner of Coachella, Philip Anschutz, has been revealed to be an anti-LGBT activist and a climate change denier. This information is coming from a Washington Post article reporting findings from Freedom for All Americans (FFAA), a “bipartisan campaign seeking nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide.” Anschutz is listed on an infographic created by FFAA titled “Enemies of Equality”.
Anschutz was placed in this group because he reportedly has given large amounts of money to organizations like the Family Research Council and the National Christian Foundation, both organizations that are known to have worked towards denying LGBT rights. Anschutz has reportedly also given money to organizations fighting against climate change and climate science.
While the actions and ideas of the owner of a company do not necessarily have to represent the values of the company, the Washington Post also found that Anschutz used company profits to directly fund these companies. It seems it is now up to the customers to decide if they are comfortable putting their money behind an organization that supports such ideas. It is also up to the artists scheduled to perform to decide if they are comfortable being a part of such a program.