Metro Weekly

Coachella owner responds to criticism, claims he supports LGBTQ community

Statement came after Cara Delevingne called out Philip Anschutz for allegedly funding anti-LGBTQ causes

Photo: Malcolm Murdoch / Flickr

“I support the rights of all people and oppose discrimination and intolerance against the LGBTQ community.”

Philip Anschutz, co-owner of music festival Coachella, in a statement declaring that he’s an advocate for LGBTQ people.

Anschutz is Chairman of AEG Worldwide, the company that runs the two-weekend festival in Indio, California, and has received criticism for making large donations to anti-LGBTQ charities.

He has allegedly donated to the National Christian Foundation, which fights against LGBTQ equality, anti-LGBTQ politicians, such as Republican Scott Tipton, and the National Republican Senate Committee — the Republican Party currently has the most anti-LGBTQ party platform in its history.

The company’s Twitter account posted a statement from Anschutz’s after the first weekend of this year’s Coachella, saying that he was a supporter of the LGBTQ community.

“I see this as a matter of basic human rights,” he said. “Our foundation supports a broad range of philanthropic causes. I regret if any money given to a charity for other purposes may have indirectly worked against these values. That was not my intention, it does not reflect my beliefs, and I am committed to making sure it does not happen again.”

Anschutz’s company also put out a statement, saying: “AEG whole-heartedly embraces the LGBTQ community. Our recent support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its vital work speaks to our organization’s true values.”

The statement follows calls to boycott the music festival, with one of the most prominent coming from Suicide Squad and Paper Towns actress, Cara Delevingne.

Delevingne has been extremely vocal about boycotting Coachella, including using the hashtag “#Nochella” and refusing to ever attend the festival.

She received some criticism for supporting Beyonce’s iconic set at Coachella on Saturday, which became bigger than the festival itself when she brought out her sister Solange, husband Jay-Z, and orchestrated a Destiny’s Child reunion.

“Some people are commenting on the fact that I posted about my anger towards the owner of Coachella and then about Beyoncé. I still refuse to go to a festival that is owned by someone who is anti-LGBT and pro-gun,” Delevingne explained in her Instagram story. “I am allowed to shame that man and the festival and show my appreciation of an artist at the same time. Just because I love Beyonce doesn’t mean I now love Coachella.”

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