Michelle Shocked trying to erase her homophobic rant from YouTube

Does anyone in Texas really say 'dagnabbit'? (Screen shot from Twitter)

This past March, Texas singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked made hordes of enemies in San Francisco while performing at Yoshi’s, when she blurted out a string of bizarre, homophobic comments (those who are really interested can read the whole transcript here).

This is the age of the Internet, so it wasn’t long before the screwy remarks triggered a firestorm of controversy and went viral.

The Bay Area reporter has published a detailed account of the backstory leading up to a now-cancelled June 30 concert, orchestrated by San Francisco Examiner Publisher Todd Vogt, that would have featured Shocked during the city’s Pride celebration and was described by Vogt as a public apology. Vogt and Patrick Brown, chief financial officer of the San Francisco Newspaper Company, are working on gaining ownership of a 49 percent stake in the company that owns the Bay Area Reporter.

Meanwhile, it appears that Shocked is actively trying to erase recordings of her offensive rant from the Internet.

She’s already succeeded in getting them yanked from SoundCloud. Bay Guardian Music Editor Emily Savage wrote about Shocked’s homophobic comments just after the episode occurred, posting a recording submitted by a reader to her SoundCloud account.

But on April 6, Savage received a takedown notice informing her that the recording had been removed. Reached by email, SoundCloud spokesperson Kristina Weise explained, “The request came from the rights-holder via filing a DMCA report,” referring to a copyright violation complaint filed by Shocked under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Weise did not answer Bay Guardian questions about whether SoundCloud knew the file contained controversial statements. Nor did she answer questions about whether SoundCloud considered the comments, as well as the music, to be copyrighted content. But it does pose an interesting question about what happens when copyright law is invoked to remove controversial material.

So far, Shocked hasn’t gotten anywhere in her efforts to have a different set of recordings from Yoshi’s pulled from YouTube -- the videos are still up. Google, which owns YouTube, has not responded to the Guardian’s request for comment.

In an email exchange with Vogt – a primary shareholder of the San Francisco Print Media Company, which owns the San Francisco Examiner, the SF Weekly, and the SF Bay Guardian – Shocked asked for “help getting the illegal Yoshi's bootlegs on YouTube pulled down,” as part of her “attempt to wheedle a few perqs on the side” in the concert deal.

Asked how he responded to that particular request, Vogt said in an email to the Bay Guardian, “I did respond, via a FaceTime exchange with Ms. Shocked, where I reminded her that SFBG was the first outlet to post an audio file of the Yoshi's performance in question and that we would not, under any circumstances, remove the file/link.”

When the Bay Guardian emailed Shocked, she declined comment. But a little while later, her friend Roger Trilling, a journalist, phoned the Bay Guardian to say he had some thoughts to offer on Shocked’s behalf, though not as her official spokesperson.

Trilling challenged the idea that she was trying to sweep her offensive comments under the rug, pointing out that she had posted the transcript of her Yoshi’s comments to her own personal website. “She has always tried to keep her intellectual property off sites like YouTube,” he said. He added that he did not believe the offensive comments she made at Yoshi’s could be separated from the copyrighted musical content in the recording, because “they were part of the show.”

Shocked, meanwhile, has recently been championing the cause of whistleblower Bradley Manning, whose un-appointment as Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade has given fresh energy to the Bradley Manning parade contingent. When it became clear that Shocked was actively promoting the Bradley Manning contingent on Twitter, publicist Lisa Geduldig, who has been acting as a publicist for the community's response to Pride rescinding Manning as Grand Marshal, sent Shocked an email to feel out whether she actually intended to show up and march.

Geduldig asked her, “was it your intention to march in the contingent?” Shocked responded that she and some friends were thinking of doing that. Soon after, Geduldig was cc’d on an email Shocked sent to a music journalist, “to keep my SF media sponsors ‘honest,’” which contained the entire email thread with Vogt and others who had been working with her on an ad and interview for the SF Weekly. From there, the thread was circulated through the community and wound up being forwarded to media outlets.

For her part, Geduldig remains concerned that Shocked’s shenanigans will be a distraction from the intentions behind the Bradley Manning contingent of the San Francisco Pride Parade. “This is about Bradley Manning,” she said. “This kid is on trial, potentially for his life. And it’s about him – it’s not about Michelle Shocked.”


Too bad the Bradley Manning contingent can't think of a way to exploit Michelle Shocked's potential participation with the contingent on June 30. BTW, that contingent meets at 10 am at Beale and Howard Streets on June 30 for the Pride Parade.

Sure hope the contingent does not have a litmus test on who can join them.

Posted by MPetrelis on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 11:48 am

What happened at Yoshis, while relevant and idiotically hateful on her part, pales in comparison to everything on twitter since March. She's built this insane conspiracy theory where gay nazi's who also represent the military industrial complex and the CIA plotted to ruin her career prior to her even going on stage. Somehow twitter and google are involved too in some monolithic evil organization out to get her and apparently.. just her.

She's compared losing her career to genocidal jewish pogroms, made insulting homophobic jokes about Manning, made jokes about the Boston bombing ( I suspect cause it took attention away from her ), recanted her initial apologies by claiming she's proud of what happened at Yoshi's, and lashed out anyone whether it be a provocateur or a confused fan just looking for answers. She has a few brown nosing sycophants that egg her on, who are largely evangelical homophobes themselves, and tries to feed off negative attention that people provide.

Posted by Chad on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 11:51 am

Chad is absolutely right. If you haven't been following her on twitter you have no idea.. Yoshi's was just a preview...

Posted by Guest JanG on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

we show so little tolerance here to people who hold different political opinions to ourselves?

If we are not careful, we may end up being regarded as less tolerant than the various right-wingers whom we deem to be wrong.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 11:55 am

Michelle Shocked is actively homophobic, which is quite a different animal than from someone who simply holds a "different political opinion."

More importantly, no one enjoys the right to be free from criticism.

We all get to speak are minds, and here is the important part, Guest---we all get to face the consequences of our words. Michelle Shocked is free to say what she likes, and others are free to condemn her words and choose to boycott her shows. Just as there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as free speech, as in the sense of being free from the consequences of the views you choose to publicly espouse.

Being a tolerant person does not mean one is required to tolerate others' intolerance and hatefulness. In fact, if you tolerate hatefulness and intolerance, you aren't being "accepting," rather you are being complicit in promoting intolerance and hatefulness.

I want no part the values you wrongly characterize as "liberal values," nor do the majority of San Franciscans.

Posted by Chris on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

gays to death or in prison here. But it must be OK to criticize a class of people if only because SF progressives routinely hate on conservatives, christians, banks, corporations, gun owners and various other categories of people.

So why are gays, blacks, communists or other groups any different? And why would they be any more immune from criticism.

This all comes down to politics and therein lies the hypocrisy. Apparently it is perfectly OK to disparage Republicans but not to disparage gays. Wherefore the difference?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

understand the difference between what a person is and what a person chooses to be is beyond help and intellectually challenged.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

isn't an important thing because it is a choice?

And do you consider that you merely "choose" to be a liberal? And that you could just as easily choose to be a conservative?

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Posted by genclues.com on Jun. 23, 2013 @ 1:38 am

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Posted by <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< on Jun. 30, 2013 @ 11:23 am

else you will be forever labeled a homophobic individual. There is no way around it, this is the new U.S. of A., with the same old crap and a different label slapped on it. "What's the difference"? Almost everything is being labeled "hate speech" in this nation, but this subject is on a different level of meanness I guess. Never have I seen so many folks who disagreed with this being told to, "suck it up or else suffer the consequences" (so where exactly does that leave freedom of speech for those who don't agree?). Why must I be labeled homophobic, a hate monger, etc. if I don't agree with something or someone but still care about them? I don't get it???

Posted by The Greed that's killing us all. on Oct. 27, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

The difference is that you need to put your prejudices aside when dealing with other citizens in the public realm because your prejudices do not balance against the civil rights of others.

Think and feel what you want, write what you want, but you don't get to interfere with the right of others to conduct themselves through society without being attacked for what they are, especially when these individuals are members of classes which have historically been structurally weaker relative to other classes.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 28, 2013 @ 7:36 am

So what you're saying basically is that tolerance is completely subjective, and something you can cherry pick to mean anything you want.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 31, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

Yes turn the other cheek, so I can slap you agin, but harder this time.

Posted by Austin on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 5:26 am

Perhaps a gay woman will rant against gay marriage because it represents male dominance?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 11:59 am

Why is it that progressives go to all lengths to excusify bad conduct due to mental illness or substance abuse when it involves the poor but give no quarter to bad conduct due to mental illness when it involves a performer? Isn't mental illness as much of a disability irrespective of one's income?

Since when do progressives punish for the symptoms their medical conditions? Or is the likely fact that Shocked is an apostate what is really needling people?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

Is Ms. Shocked making the claim that mental illness is the reason she has been spewing crap? If so, then she has enough self-awareness to (a) shut up (e.g. get off Twitter), (b) get treatment, and eventually (c) make amends for her words.

She may be a little off in a Mel Gibson sort of way, but as long as she still has the capacity to file DMCA take-down notices, get up every day and feed herself and brush her teeth, book gigs and show up on time to perform, etc., then she is deemed to be a competent adult. And, as competent adults, we are all responsible for our own words and behavior, including competent adults who happen to have mild forms of mental illness.

If what you are suggesting is that she is not mentally competent, I would have to see some evidence to support the assertion. The mere fact that one goes on a kooky rant, or two, does not mean one is mentally ill. And, if one is mentally ill, simply having an outburst does not mean ones mental illness is so severe so as to remove any culpability for ones actions or words. Like any illness, mental illness comes in degrees, and even ill individuals have the ability to make a certain range of choices and the capacity to follow through on them. If she truly is so ill as to be unaware of the nature of her actions, then I do hope she is conserved and gets the treatment she needs.

As for your concerns about that jolly group of people who go by the name of "progressives," welcome to the realization that many of us came to years ago, which is that there is nothing in the least progressive about them.

Posted by Chris on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

Her appeal back in the day was that she was a little off, coming from East Texas where mental illness is inbred in the water and all.

We are powerful, she is weak. Ignore her.

Posted by anon on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 5:50 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

Most everyone realizes that lesbians and gays have a powerful political momentum on our side. Some lesbians and gays who are fixated on oppression and victimhood see threats behind every bush.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

Let's not get overconfident - we still don't know the outcome of DOMA and Prop 8 at SCOTUS and we're going to have to fight a lot more political battles regardless. But the trend lines are in our direction - that's a great thing.

I don't think 20 years ago anyone would ever have predicted we'd be wear we are now.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

We did not get here for the activists, we did not get here for freaking out whenever anyone disagreed with us like many transgender advocates still do.

We got here for tens of millions of us coming out to our families, friends and coworkers over three decades and making ourselves normal to the greater society without compromising our identities. It was truly a spontaneous, anarchic atomized leaderless movement. It is like we all got a common signal in 1985 that said, "okay, it is time."

I agree that nobody could have foreseen this almost embarrassing pace of gains, but now that we find ourselves appearing to have gained power, we need to walk confidently and gracefully in that power as befits our new status and power.

That power was shown when Yoshis did the right thing without having to be asked. Should that incident spell permanent punishment for Shocked?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

Nothing happens organically, "just because." Activists always lead the way, pushing the envelope on unpopular issues. It's only after many years of hard and unappreciated work, does middle America "wake up" and decide "it's time."

Posted by Greg on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

Greg, you're a het, you're wrong on this. The sexual revolution a decade and a half before queers hit critical mass was likewise a spontaneous anarchic cultural change and set the stage for the queer heavy lift over the next decades. While the activists were losing on marriage and the military, we were racking up support one person at a time.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

Marcos, I think it's entirely possible for a person to be wrong about an idea, even when one is close to the issue; just as it is possible to be right even when one is not as close. The idea is what matters, not the person's background. That's why for the purposes of this forum, I avoid discussing my personal situation as much as possible; that's also why I avoid confirming or denying speculations about me, as tempting as it is sometimes. I extend you the courtesy of not making speculations about your identity that you haven't personally written about (a la the trolls on this board), even though I may know certain things, and I ask you to extend me the same respect.

Now, as far as the issue, I just think you're too easily dismissing the leaders, the visionaries, the activists who through the years put in the hard work. The fact that they lost some battles initially proves nothing. They say the only battles worth fighting are the ones that you lose and lose and lose, until you win. Without the activists' work in "prepping" the great middle, the great middle would never wake up. Of course there's a flipside. Without certain economic and social conditions, society won't reach the point where they're ready to receive the message.

So both elements are at play. I just chafe at this suggestion by someone who sees themselves as a centrist and thinks that change just "happens" when people like him wake up. No, that's not how change happens. He may think that he just "woke up," but he's totally clueless to the fact that before he "woke up," someone was doing the hard work of shaking him out of his clueless slumber for a good two hours, prying his eyes open and shining a light in, throwing cold water on his face... and then he yawns and says, "Wow I can't believe it's already noon! Well what are we waiting for? Let the day begin!"

This whole discussion reminds me of a retrospective on the life of Rosa Parks that KPFA did not too long ago. The narrative of the corporate media is that Rosa Parks was just a tired seamstress who one day out of the blue decided to defy an order to go to the back of the bus. Some trouble happened, but a benevolent supreme court eventually decided to listen to the arguments and end segregation on the busses.

Except that's not how it happened at all. Rosa Parks was, in reality, an organizer with the NAACP -an longtime activist, and a radical one at that. The NAACP wasn't this milquetoast moderate organization that was universally accepted as it is today. The action that she took was preplanned, and in fact similar actions were instigated before, but this is the one that came to a head. What followed were protests, retaliation against her and other activists, and a whole crapload of activism that followed and preceded that action, much of which was a tactical failure (but a long term strategic success). *That* is how change occurs.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

I dunno, the spontaneous rebellion at Stonewall and here at Compton's were not scripted by activists. Arthur Evans' pro-gay marriage actions in 1971 did not exactly yield fruit. Perhaps the early radical actions prepared the soil. But the heavy lift was a decentralized anarchic process that was not coordinated. National Coming Out Day probably played a role, but those events were just not that well promoted. The radical emergence of Queer Nation in the late 1980s was a product of initial success and a reflection of confidence and a tentative assertion of community power.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 9:04 pm

and that's a great anecdote about Rosa Parks... though busing only has one "s" unless it is either the open- or closed- lips variety.

Stonewall was a reaction to a police riot. No?

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 7:48 am

Funny how Greg responds to me posting as 'anon' differently than me posting as me.

Posted by anon on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 8:09 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 8:25 am

No, it reflects on the subjectivity of analysis where the speaker counts more than the content. Trolls accuse me of playing games? That's fucking rich!

Posted by anon on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 8:40 am

deter the stalking that invariably comes with self-identification.

If people know who the messenger is, they focus on that, and ignore the message.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 22, 2013 @ 8:52 am

It's a sad spectacle that she's prolonging. Quit giving this bitch attention.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

Why give this bitch Lucretia any attention at all?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 1:11 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

Lucretia called Michelle Shocked a bitch or didn't you notice? So much for the famed tolerance of "moderates" (we all know you trolls are ever so polite).

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

in describing another woman, in much the same way as it's OK for blacks to call each other "nigger" but not OK for whites to do it.

As a middle-aged, over-educated, under-employed, over-weight, bald white guy, you don't get to use the B word and get away with it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

I posted the comment about Lucretia and I'm female. I was just playing off what she said about another woman (MIchelle Shocked). Perhaps I should have just called her a hypocrite of the worst kind.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 1:46 pm
Posted by anon on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

Lucretia calls a woman a "bitch" and Guest gets called out on it for giving Lucretia a taste of her own medicine. I guess that's your idea of someone overreacting.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 03, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

law, but from what I used to know (based on a thorough reading and re-reading of the Chicago Manual of Style c. 1994) it seems that the question of Fair Use doesn't come into play any longer. Such use of otherwise copyright-protected material serves the purposes not only of education, but of journalism too.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

Interesting link to the B.A.R. Way to turn this whole thing into a "Michelle Shocked is crazy" story (not news) when it is actually a "Todd Vogt is a huge fucking liar" story. Which is far more relevant.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

There should ALWAYS be an option to delete any posting a person has made, any comment, any video a person has made. People will constantly say stupid comments, thoughtless comments, inconsiderate comments--comments in calmer moments would be recognized for what they are. That delete option should always be there.

Posted by StevenTorrey on Jun. 23, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

The deal is fairly simply. You get to say something and, no matter how dumb, hateful or evil it is, I don't get the right to suppress your remark. My choices are to either engage it or ignore it.

And here is why. You made claims there about statements that are stupid, thoughtless or inconsiderate but those are entirely subjective notions. What you deem to be dumb, I may deem to be smart.

So better to let everyone say what they want, with you retaining the right to ignore whatever you personally do not like. You don't mess with my free speech rights and I don't mess with your rights to ignore me. Easy, and fair.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2013 @ 4:13 pm
Posted by A Wronged Woah-man (& BG reader) on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

We won't see no commie nonsense here.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

but they haven't yet called for a revolution.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

We'll know more when we see the ad revenues.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

First of all, I don't know who this artist is, but she has a right to choose what is right for her, and if that choice is to be straight and surround herself with those that are straight, she, in the pursuit of liberty, freedom, and happiness, has that God given right.

Second, what exactly is homophobia? I really wish that campaigns to stop homophobia would clearly define EXACTLY what that is. If it is a matter of accepting homosexuality, then that is unconstitutional because everyone has the right to CHOICE.

Third, homosexuality goes against the survival of the gender of man. By forcing homosexuality onto men, or even the concept of it, you are asking men that are straight to destroy their race as a gender on a long-term basis. That goes against the basic survival instincts of the men out there that are still men! Therefore, homosexuality has it roots deeply embedded into a mode of self-destruction for the entire gender/race of man.

It is time for us straight folks to fight back, and to get these types of terms taken out of political agendas. It is a matter of man's basic survival.

Posted by Melissa Winters on Nov. 28, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

"Forcing homosexuality on straight men"

Really? Seriously? I just don't know how to respond to such stupidity. Phrancly, I'm Shocked. ;)

Posted by Guest on Feb. 18, 2014 @ 12:20 am