Following reports that Coachella’s owner Philip Anschutz uses some of his vast wealth to support anti-LGBT causes and spread climate change skepticism, fans are urging the festival’s headliners to donate their performance fees to pro-LGBT causes.
A petition with nearly 7,000 supporters asks Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead to donate the money they receive from Coachella to charities that advocate for LGBT people.
“Please sign this petition urging headliners Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead to donate their Coachella proceeds to the following pro-LGBTQ organizations: The Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline and the Human Rights Campaign,” asks the petition started by a user named Lauren L.
As we reported while the story was developing, Anschutz made sizable donations to the Alliance Defending Freedom, National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013. All three of these groups push against LGBT rights and the latter has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Now, Pitchfork has further examined the story, and uncovered that the donations continued after the timeframe of the initial story, with the Anschutz Foundation donating to these causes as recently as 2015. The website claims that a lawyer for Anchutz Entertainment Group told them the donations stopped after they understood the full scope of what they were going toward.
“Once it was explained to us that there was an issue, it stopped,” Cole Finegan, an attorney a law firm that represents AEG, said . “Once we were approached and it was explained to us then the donations stopped.”
However the controversy surrounding Anschutz donations has yet to cease, with Anschutz himself denying that he ever supported anti-LGBT groups.