Alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked goes on homophobic rant, Yoshi's says she won't be back

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Shocked at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, 2007.
PHOTO BY SIGMUND/CREATIVE COMMONS.

UPDATE: now with audio of the incident. 

What is going on with Michelle Shocked? The Texas alt-folk singer-songwriter, formerly known as a leftist-feminist relic of the late 1980s/early '90s, apparently went on a homophobic rant at one of her two Yoshi's shows this past Sunday in San Francisco.

As the Bay Area Reporter notes, Shocked, who seems to have found religion in the past decade, told the Yoshi's crowd: “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization and Jesus will come back.”

As Queerty.com reports, “The singer has been open about being a born-again Christian, but was still active in progressive politics. (She was arrested at an Occupy LA event in 2011).”

Here's more from the Bay Area Reporter on the incident this weekend:
One woman shouted: "Don't say that shit in San Francisco."

Shocked replied, "Where do I go to say it?”

In response to audience reaction, Shocked offered a Spanish prayer that "God loves you. God loves us. God loves us all everywhere." Later, in English, she said: "God bless us everyone."

Many fans questioned the singer out loud: "What are you saying?"

With a broad smile, Shocked said. "You are going to leave here and tell people 'Michelle Shocked said God hates faggots.'"

By that point, much of the audience had walked out in disgust, and Yoshi's management later cut the mics and turned on the lights, as Shocked continued to perform.

The story blew up on Twitter, as audience members tweeted confused reactions to the singer's offensive comments.

Yoshi's SF director of marketing and public relations Lisa Bautista answered my call this morning and said she was not there when the incident happened, but she did get a phone call from Yoshi's artistic director Derek Hunter after Shocked's show. Hunter confirmed they did indeed stop the show. Bautista also got additional comments from people who were present.

In his official statement to Bautista, Hunter said, "This was Michelle Shock's third visit to Yoshi's San Francisco; her first was March 2009. She has never given any indication that she is anti-gay or racist in her previous plays. She obviously has some serious issues and unfortunately chose our venue to vent them."

Added Bautista to me, “[Shocked] won't be back.” Bautista also had venues nationwide calling this morning to verify if Shocked made such remarks.

Novato's Hopmonk Tavern sent out a release this afternoon canceling Shocked's scheduled show: “Due to comments made by Michelle Shocked at Yoshi’s in San Francisco last night, March 17, we have decided to cancel our show with Michelle on March 29. Refunds can be made at place of purchase.”

Truly, an upsetting incident for all those involved, especially ticket-holders and former fans of the singer.

**UPDATE: @yoshisSF_OAK tweeted this at 1:40PM today: "WE AT YOSHI'S SF DO NOT & WILL NOT EVER TOLERATE THE TYPE OF BIGOTRY & HATRED EXHIBITED LAST NIGHT BY @MShocked SHE WILL NEVER BE BACK."

**UPDATE 2: An anonymous audience member was recording the incident and sent us the file, which you can listen to below: 

Comments

But not in CA.

It's a States' rights issue.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 10:06 am

I believe marriage is a fundamental right federal right under our U.S. Constitution , which means the states have no right to limit it.

The states rights are not unlimited, and their power is and should be constrained, especially in the case of certain protected individual rights.

Posted by Chris on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

When you tell people they can't have the same right to marry the consenting adult they love that you have, you are being anti-gay. You can't tell people on the one hand that you aren't "anti" them, and then discriminate against them. That's like an 1850's slave owner saying "I'm not anti-black; now get out there and pick that cotton."

Posted by Legynd55 on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

concept of "a man and a woman". Nobody restricts the right of a man to marry a woman, so the same rule applies to everyone.

What if you love two people equally? Should you be able to marry both at the same time, as a "right"?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 6:37 am

...marriage is only valid between a man and a woman? What is it about same-sex relationships that is fundamentally different?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:13 am
Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:39 am

I don't know why you keep introducing threesomes into the discussion, though. They are irrelevant.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:57 am

most obviously mormons, who are not allowed to marry the person they love because they love two people equally.

Or because they are already married.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:12 am

I'd be happy to engage in a debate with you about marriages of more than two people if we could nail down first what it is about the marriage of two people of the same sex you object to.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:22 am

The fact that the government is in the business of regulating relationships is outrageous. If two straight people want to marry, they should. If two gay people want to marry, they should. And if three people want to marry, so should they! And the law should not treat any of them any differently from single people. The law should not discriminate based on relationship status. The fact that marriage is a legal institution is outrageous.

Posted by Jamie on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 11:57 am

If there was ever one fundamental thing you could say about marriage, it is that it is a union of a man and a woman. Once you dump that, there is really little point in having any rules at all.

If your dog wants to marry your refrigerator, it's all good with me.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

There is nothing essential about marriage between a man and a woman that isn't true about a marriage between people of the same sex.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

woman only. That is fairly universal.

An electorate can vote to change that and I have no problem with that. But, by the same argument, the voters can approve anything else that further dilutes the meaning of marriage, such as allowing threesomes and polygamists to marry.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

I don't know anything about Michelle Shocked and what she is or used to be. And I'm not sure how you would classify me politically (though I'm sure you'd find some bin) but what she said seemed pretty dumb for a number of reasons, unless the specific intent was a professional meltdown. Does making that observation mean not being able to handle the situation ?

Posted by kyoung on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

Not wanting a segment of the population to enjoy the full rights of citizenship is the very definition of hate & bigotry. Yes, they are the same thing, and your ludicrous mental gymnastics, where you try to prove that water isn't wet shows you are not a person to be taken seriously.

I do find it interesting that you basically admit that the values of the right is bigotry. There is no congruent value on the left. It is not "intolerant" to turn your back on intolerance. It is being a decent human being. There is no evidence of 'not handling it,' it is quite the opposite-- people are telling her directly that they're not interested in being "entertained" in this way. If people want to pay to be told it's a good thing to hate other humans, they can go to a church.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

children, people already married and threesomes?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:41 am

Don't you think you are generalizing a tiny bit? I don't care for 'fruitcakes' no matter what side they are on.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 11:46 pm

It's quite a stretch to presume that when she told people to tweet that she said God hates fags, she was actually saying that she thought people would interpret her anti-gay marriage stance as being anti-gay.

Given the various remarks attributed to her by multiple sources that night (like that repealing Prop 8 would mean priests would be forced to marry gays at gunpoint), I think it's more likely that she was telling people to tweet that she thinks God hates fags because that's what she thinks.

So the headline? Accurate.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:11 am

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the internet people; they will obtain advantage from it I am sure.

Posted by clpik-studio.com.pl pozycjonowanie on Nov. 03, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

She is from East Texas, after all, this should not be surprising.

You'd have to force the altar boys from the priests' cold, dead hands in order to force them at gunpoint to marry gays.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

Sounds like a plan, force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, jesus comes back, all of the christians get raptured, and we can start to rebuild the planet.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

"WE AT YOSHI'S SF DO NOT & WILL NOT EVER TOLERATE THE TYPE OF BIGOTRY & HATRED EXHIBITED LAST NIGHT BY @MShocked SHE WILL NEVER BE BACK.

Posted by Karen on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

Great that Yoshi's tweeted that.

Posted by emily on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:11 am

I don't like hearing political comments from musicians either way, as they are generally clueless. But their music should not be censored just because the management of the establishment happens to disagree with a view being expressed.

If I had paid to hear her sing, and then the cocnert got stopped because of a political squabble, I'd be pissed.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:21 am

Pathological woman goes from 'fad' to 'fad' trying to give some meaning to her empty, disturbed personality. Nothing will ever fill the shallow, inadequate shell that is this person/hater. She's lucky the audience didn't beat the crap out of her. Many of the venue's she plays the audience might not have been so nice.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 5:59 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

Back in the early 90s she was an active lesbian. Now she appears to be a retired lesbian.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

Why anyone would ever get their politics from performers is a mystery. I would rather listen to the members of a Swedish black metal band pontificate on religion.

back in the 80's early 90's Dennis Miller was Chomsky liberal and unfunny, he's now a neo-con conservative and unfunny as ever.

Bong comedian turned angry left wing idiot George Carlin was never funny.

etc...

Why people listen to performers on issues, even vote for them, just a mystery?

Posted by matlock on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

and become (or re-become) heterosexuals. I have personally known a few people who have been "cured" in this way.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 6:38 am

Most of the people who proclaim they are "cured" realize they are living a lie to earn the acceptance of others. There are many more ex-ex-gays than ex-gays.

Posted by toujoursdan on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 7:46 am

little doubt that many people revoke being gay and lead happy lives as a result. I know two such people.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:40 am

...a lot more people are happier when they give up the dodge of being straight, come out, and live as they were made.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:42 am

go back to being straight again.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

I'd still tap it.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

You're such a class act, as usual. I'm sure you're a hit with women, with that attitude.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

about your self referential feelings. I'm sure that is a hit.

So good Greg, your self absorbed persona here if transfered to the real world must be so enjoyable.

I come here for a laugh, you come here because you take this and yourself so seriously, you think this page and yourself are important to the world.

No one but the progressobots takes this seriously.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

Almost certainly a mental health issue. She's had serious MH issues in the past. #offhermeds?

Posted by Coitainly on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

The True Believer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer

"Hoffer believes that mass movements are interchangeable, that adherents will often flip from one movement to another, and that the motivations for mass movements are interchangeable; that religious, nationalist and social movements, whether radical or reactionary, tend to attract the same type of followers, behave in the same way and use the same tactics, even when their stated goals or values differ."

Posted by matlock on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

Diiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. As part of her treatment, Michelle was given shock therapy

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

Diiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. As part of her treatment, Michelle was given shock therapy

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

Because I always assumed she was a lesbian.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 6:45 am

No offense to any of you gay ladies,,but I always thought she was kind of,,,well,,butch.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 11:24 am

Legal marriage is a civil contract, therefore a civil rights question. Marriage in a church, temple, etc. is a religious/cultural tradition. Separation of church and state is the law. So why is this argument allowed to continue??! The cloak of religion is used by bigoted people for all kinds of bad behavior around the world. I'm tired of their "views" (hate) being treated with respect and consideration. Bigots need to get over it, and the rest of us stop acting as if their crap is worthy of listening to.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 7:30 am

Ted Nuggent has an opening act.

Posted by sturzl on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 7:31 am

Ted Nuggent has an opening act.

Posted by sturzl on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 7:40 am

It was the shock therapy that made her a lesbian. Now that it's worn off, she's just a dude.

Posted by Chromefields on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:12 am

The Right seems to think that a popular vote on ANYTHING determines the legality of that issue. Not so. There are states would put blatantly discriminatory laws into place if determined by popular vote.

The fact is that everyone is subject to all of the provisions of the US Constitution. If the majority of the citizenry felt that civil rights in this country should be disregarded, then there is a legal process to make that happen - the US Constitution would have to be amended to allow for it. The procedure for amending the Constitution is set forth in the Constitution itself.

The argument for using popular vote to decide civil rights matters is mob mentality. The US Constitution is nobody's fair weather friend. You can't herald certain pieces of it that are useful to you while decrying other pieces of it that you don't like.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 9:36 am

The judges who uphold the constitution are appointed by those we elect, and so must ultimately take into account the views of the people who gave them that job.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 10:02 am

The judiciary is a check on the tyranny of the majority, not beholden to it.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

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