Action Bronson has been removed from the line-up for George Washington University’s Spring Fling due to student complaints about his lyrical content, and this definitely isn’t the first time.
According to NME, the rapper was removed from the show in Washington D.C due to claims that his lyrics were “misogynist, transphobic and insensitive to sexual assault survivors.” The program board at the University even released a statement regarding the situation, apologizing and clearing up any misunderstandings. “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.”
To the Students at George Washington University and the public at large:
I’m writing this letter to hopefully bring clarity to some misconceptions about who I am as an artist and as a person. It has become clear to me that things have reached a point which makes me feel the need to address the issues raised so that we can bring some understanding and healing to the table, so to speak. I can’t continue to walk around with the thought that people are thinking these things about me that are far from who I really am.
Five years ago in 2011, I wrote a song called “Consensual Rape” that admittedly contains lyrics and a general sentiment of violence towards woman which I never meant to represent who I am but rather to depict a story. I approach my music as other types of artists approach their work, and I don’t always intend the stories that I tell, the characters that I play in them or the lyrics I lay down to be taken literally. The songs I make aren’t any different than a director creating a movie, or an author writing a book meaning they contain scenes or things happen in them that aren’t meant to be anything but an artistic expression- just a song, a book or a film. I’ve never performed “Consensual Rape” at a concert, and I don’t plan to.
Regardless, I understand that when it comes to musicians, and more specifically rappers, the lyrics I say are taken to heart many times as a representation of my beliefs or true feelings. SO please let me make this very clear: I think rape and acts of violence toward woman are DISGUSTING. I would never condone anything remotely close to that type of behavior, and it’s certainly not what I’m about at all. 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.
Similarly, there has been some attention placed on a insensitive Instagram post I made years ago regarding me inappropriately labelling someone as transexual and being disrespectful to them in a way that is not ok. I have sat with members of the LGBT community recently in an effort to understand how to avoid being hurtful and insensitive towards these issues moving forward. I have never had any issues with anyone’s sexual orientation or gender transitioning. I’m far, far from perfect and I recognize my flaws and I’m making an effort to grow and be a better human.
Thanks for reading this.
In the statement, the rapper compares his music to a “story,” no different from a movie made by a director or a book by an author. He goes on to call acts of violence against women “disgusting,” and claims that none of the controversial lyrics in his music represent his own personal views. He also talks about his controversial song “Consensual Rape,” the subject of the NXNE incident, again claiming that the song is over five years old and has never been performed live.
UPDATE: Trinity College recently followed in the footsteps of George Washington University and removed Bronson from the lineup of a concert at the institution. The college posted a statement on Facebook in which they explain defend their choice.