Upcoming Ted Nugent Show Draws Ire: Should It Be Canceled?

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Ted Nugent is drawing controversy over his public statements ahead of a Aug. 6 show at Toad's Place. (Getty Images)

Ted Nugent is drawing controversy over his public statements ahead of a Aug. 6 show at Toad’s Place. (Getty Images)

Can’t say this is exactly a surprise.

Anyone familiar with Ted Nugent knows many of the rocker’s political stances could be described anywhere from “staunchly conservative” to “absolutely incendiary.” He’s taken up strictly libertarian positions on gun control and backed them up with inflammatory comments that can easily be seen as offensive, to say the least, to those with opposing views.

So when it was announced that Nugent would be playing at Toad’s Place on Aug. 6 in New Haven, a staunchly liberal New England city in a state that’s become the front on gun control after a horrific school massacre, it was only a matter of time before this became an issue.

Nugent’s commentary to the conservative news site Rare following the acquittal of George Zimmerman last week was the last straw before Weston resident John Finegan spoke up against the performance.

“He’s someone who espouses hate, and tries to celebrate the differences in us as Americans moreso than the things that unify and bring us together,” Finegan told Fox CT in an interview.

An editorial in the New Haven Register piles it on with Nugent’s many offensive quotes, saying “Nugent is a racist, misogynistic, homophobic hate-monger who has demeaned and even threatened violence against the people who live in our community,” and requesting the venue call off the show.

Toad’s Place owner Brian Phelps said he’s not canceling, telling Fox CT that the comments are within Nugent’s right to say. “As long as it’s not something totally insane, then that’s their business and they should have the right to say it,” Phelps said. “That’s what this country is all about.”

“Ted Nugent is an entertainer and he has his own views on a lot of stuff. The entire spectrum of entertainer folks go from extreme right to extreme left, and some in the middle,” Phelps added when speaking to the New Haven Register. “But that’s got nothing to do with his show here, nor does it have anything to do with Toad’s Place. This is just a music show. His political views are his, and the media that gets involved with him.”

Thus come the tough questions.

Is there a point where incendiary, hurtful statements trump the right of a performing artist to free expression?

What if this were an outspoken liberal musician playing a show in a conservative city? Would that change things?

Is this a question of Constitutional rights, or common decency?

What do you think? Leave your (constructive) comments below..

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5 thoughts on “Upcoming Ted Nugent Show Draws Ire: Should It Be Canceled?

  1. Douglas Trapasso

    I think the show should go on. I totally disagree and find Nugent’s viewpoint disgusting (never was much a fan of his music either), but it’s wrong to try to pressure venues into canceling performers once booked. I hated what Michelle Shocked reportedly said earlier this year onstage (not crazy about -her- music either), but was upset that so many clubs caved so quickly into pulling her bookings. I emailed the owner of a local club who had her scheduled to perform, and I asked him to confirm that if it were ten years ago, he would have dis-invited the Dixie Chicks. He couldn’t do it, and tried to convince me a double standard wasn’t in play. I’m not so sure.

  2. BS

    Liberals suck. Biggest hypocrites on the planet. Race baiters and some of the worst haters on the planet. Talk about divisive? Liberal democrats are some of the worst at it playing one side against the other all for political gain even if it causes riots on the streets they don’t care.

    Ted Nugent tells it like it is. Truth hurts, especially for commie liberals who have utterly destroyed this once great nation. If anything should be cancelled it is liberals and democrats. America would be better off without them.

    Get ‘em Teddy! Teddy for president!

  3. Sista Oven

    Everyone is free to choose to ignore Ted Nugent or not. That being said, Nugent is a nutcase and is bound to rant. Security at the venue should be tight and visible, and law enforcement should be prepared for drunk patrons carrying concealed handguns. Anything can happen, but I pray that nothing does.
    Good luck, and peace.

  4. Brian S

    God Bless Brian Phelps!
    The left (I refuse to collude in their co-opting of the name “liberal”) never backs down. No compromise. Being fundamentally Totalitarians they can recognize no separation between life and politics. They believe that only their worldview is moral. Thus there can be no honest agreement to disagree.
    A democratic society lacking separation between life and politics (which is essentially the purpose of the Constitution) relentlessly slides toward human sacrifice. A nation governed by untrammeled majoritarianism that does not engage in human sacrifice is merely one that discounts that practice’s efficacy. IOW if it worked it would be done.

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