After last night’s physical protest against singer Buju Banton’s show at the Rockit Room, the internets are gearing up for a boycott of the Richmond District venue. Banton’s song “Boom Bye Bye,” which advocates killing gay people, doesn’t make the singer terribly welcome in San Francisco. Now many are turning their wrath on the club that hosted him. The Yelp page is full of one-star reviews calling for boycotts, and a more extensive site advocates shutting down Banton’s whole tour.
“You are just as responsible for allowing this intolerence (sic) to perform in our city,” wrote Yelper Willie A to the club’s management. “Booking Buju Banton in SF on the anniversary of Matthew Sheppard’s death is a new low in scumbaggery for profit,” wrote Mister D. The Rockit Room’s management wrote in a statement quoted on Yelp that Banton had distanced himself from the homophobic hit. “I would like to make one thing clear: The Rockit Room and its management do not support intolerance against any group of people,” the statement reads. Rockit Room management has not yet responded to a telephone call and e-mail from Grub Street. Still, just by allowing the show to go on, the club seems to have thoroughly angered plenty online. We’ll see if a boycott takes hold in real life, where the money is.
Update: Rocket Room booking manager Benjamin Thompson called to give Grub Street his side of the story. He said that a sit-down he organized with Banton, his manager, gay community leaders, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, and Supervisor Eric Mar, “was a condition on me proceeding with the show.” He let the show continue after Dufty, himself a leader in the gay community, gave him positive feedback on the meeting. “We’re not promoting intolerance at the rockit room. We had an LGBT performance there the previous week that everyone seems to have forgotten took place,” Thompson said.