Friday, March 31, 2017

Our Stand: MPAC can, and should, do better than Ted Nugent

  We were thoroughly disappointed and disheartened when the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre announced that it had booked "performer" Ted Nugent. He's scheduled to play some time this summer, but we won't be providing ticket information in this space or through our social media accounts as we believe this booking decision reflects poorly on the venue and the Capital City as a whole.

  Since its inception, MPAC has hosted countless acts - ranging from theater to music - all highly reputable, award-winning, world-class performers and productions from around the globe. The MPAC stage has featured everyone from Willie Nelson to the Russian Ballet, not to mention phenomenal touring Broadway productions.

  But booking such a divisive, race-baiting, reckless, disreputable character as Ted Nugent - an individual whose talent isn't prone to overwhelm anyone either - marks a stark and sad departure from what we're accustomed to seeing and appreciating at MPAC.

  Among other disgusting, repulsive endeavors, Nugent has admitted to defecating and urinating on himself for a week without bathing, then using crystal meth prior to his draft interview in order to avoid service in Vietnam.

  He has bragged about sleeping with an under age girl (i.e. statutory rape), even admitting that he convinced her parents to allow him to become her legal guardian in order to cohabitate with her and not be criminally charged for sleeping with her. Nugent has also admitted in an interview that he has had relationships with multiple underage girls. And in his song, "Jail Bait," he even openly brags about pursuing a 13-year-old child.

  Nugent also has a history of promoting violence against various groups and individuals. He once stated that in regard to encountering Hare Krishnas, he wished he could shoot them "in the spine." He threatened to "slap the shit out of" and "knee-cap" one reporter during an interview about Rush Limbaugh's drug use.

  In one interview in regard to fans of the Grateful Dead, Nugent said that a concert-goer who might be caught with LSD should be "caned" then placed in an overcrowded jail cell where a "huge, unclean black man will fuck him in the ass every night."

  Nugent has also compared Muslims to dogs.

  And over the past few years he has become known for his incendiary, inexcusable fear-mongering - the likes of which could arguably lead to violence against those he has targeted - and has made several veiled threats of violence against individuals including U.S. Senator Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

  In fact, Nugent's reckless rants against President Obama become so heated and out of control that he stated in 2012 that if Obama were reelected, he'd "either be dead or in jail by this time next year," a threat which triggered a Secret Service investigation of Nugent. He has also called for Obama and Hillary Clinton to "be tried for treason and hung." Nugent has also referred to the now former president as "a piece of shit" and a "subhuman mongrel." He even directed a message at President Obama that said, "suck my tiger dick." And he has referred to former U.S. Senator, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as a "worthless bitch."

  Nugent also has a history of bashing victims of violence and has often shared anti-Semitic content on his Facebook page. He also has a record of routinely spewing sexist sentiment and using racial slurs.

  And so we're clear, MPAC has every right to book any act it chooses. We simply believe that who they book is a reflection of their venue, and in this case considering Nugent is such a disgusting individual, that it also reflects poorly on the city of Montgomery and the River Region as a whole. They might as well give David Duke a platform or lease their space to hate groups. Frankly, considering Nugent's disturbing politics and questionable talent, we thought he could only get booked at Klan rallies and League of the South barbecues these days anyway.

  We also believe that booking Nugent will jeopardize MPAC's reputation. It has been a true gem and a destination in the Capital City with a history of hosting superb performers who have broad appeal. We hope that booking a marginally-talented, unhinged, morally-questionable individual like Nugent who leaves a wake of dysfunction, threats and hatred in his path wherever he goes isn't a signal to our area that MPAC is potentially having financial trouble and is having to scrape the bottom of the talent barrel, or worse, that it no longer cares about its reputation.

  As patrons of the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre and as individuals who want to see Montgomery continue to grow and thrive, we urge MPAC to be more judicious about who it books to grace its stage. Giving a platform to a one-man walking hate group like Ted Nugent is an absolute embarrassment and is truly unforgivable.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

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