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Michelle Shocked, Controversial Singer Who Went On Anti-Gay Tirade, To Play San Francisco Pride

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MICHELLE SHOCKED GAY PRIDE
Michelle Shocked. | Getty

UPDATE: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Michelle Shocked show scheduled during San Francisco Pride has been cancelled.

The Chronicle reported:

In a statement, San Francisco Examiner Publisher Todd Vogt said: "I am officially canceling the plan to have Michelle Shocked come to San Francisco and perform a free concert and apologize for her recent anti-gay comments. I had hoped that her concert and apology would have held the performer accountable and shine a light on hatred and bigotry, but, unfortunately, it has not. Having Ms. Shocked stand in front of a San Francisco audience and perform her music was intended to help heal, but has only further angered and offended the community.

"I sincerely apologize to all."

If one were to make a list of all the possible musical performers to play a free concert in San Francisco on the last day of the city's annual Pride celebration, folk singer Michelle Shocked not only wouldn't make the list, she probably wouldn't even be in the same state as said list.

However, the singer--who made headlines last year when she launched into an anti-gay tirade while performing a set at San Francisco jazz club Yoshi's--has been tapped to play a free concert hosted by the San Francisco Newspaper Company on June 30, the same day as the Pride parade, at a location that has yet to be announced.

San Francisco Newspaper Company CEO Todd Vogt, whose rapidly growing Bay Area media empire now includes the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly and a portion of the LGBT-centric Bay Area Reporter, confirmed Shocked's performance in a tweet from his personal account earlier this week:

Vogt later returned to Twitter to defend his decision to invite the controversial singer to perform as something more than a mere publicity stunt:

"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," Shocked said from the stage during her controversial performance earlier this year. "You are going to leave here and tell people 'Michelle Shocked said God hates f*gs.' I believe the Bible is the word of God."

Shocked was an out lesbian in the 1990s, but later become a born-again Christian and has publicly rejected much of her largely LGBT former fanbase.

Shocked later apologized for her actions.

"If I could repeat the evening, I would make a clearer distinction between a set of beliefs I abhor, and my human sympathy for the folks who hold them," she said in a statement arguing that her rant was spoken in the character of a homophobic person.

After Shocked's speech went viral, a slate of venues rushed to cancel her performanes--leading to a bizarre stunt where she staged a sit-in in front of a Santa Cruz venue where she was previously scheduled to play while dressed as a mummy with duct tape covering her mouth.

In addition to performing on June 30, Shocked will also being penning an op-ed for the Examiner and giving an exclusive interview to SF Weekly music scribe Ian Port. However, the singer has since taken to Twitter to complain about Port's insistence on recording the interview, calling it "[an attempt] to strong-arm me over a matter of principle and I have no reason to acquiesce."

The Michelle Shocked concert isn't the only bit of controversy to hit the Vogt's media empire this week.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian's venerable editor and publisher Tim Redmond, who had been at the paper for over three decades, resigned due to conflicts with the paper's ownership over layoffs. In an incendiary article posted on the Bay Guardian's website on Tuesday, a pair of Guardian editors savaged Vogt, charging that the media magnate infringed on the paper's independence and demanded staff layoffs while neglecting its ad sales.

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Filed by Aaron Sankin