Florida Republican's Cringe 'Right To Rock' Act Clears Its First Senate Panel
You gotta fight, for your right, to play college music venues!
A Florida bill meant to protect the “right” of performers and musical acts to say horrible and/or deeply racist or otherwise offensive things without risking losing a gig has officially cleared its first state Senate panel.
During the panel, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jonathan Martin (R), was asked by Sen. Vic Torres (D) why they were even doing this, and claimed that several live performers “believe” that venues canceled on them because they were “exercising their free speech rights.”
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You’d think he’d have at least one specific, clear cut example of this happening to cite, but apparently he did not.
The owner or operator of a public venue may not cancel a live performance of an artist, a performer, or a musical group because of the artist's, performer's, or musical group's lawful exercise of freedom of speech or the artist's, performer's, or musical group members' personal beliefs. For the purposes of this section, the term "public venue" means a place, building, or structure, regardless of whether owned by or rented to a governmental entity, school, college, or university, which is funded by or constructed with public or government funds.
(b) This subsection does not apply to an owner or operator who cancels a live performance based on a reasonable belief that the performance would violate any applicable state law or rule.
(2) A venue owner or operator who cancels a live performance of an artist, a performer, or a musical group in violation of subsection (1) shall bear all costs, fees, and penalties enumerated in the related contract with the artist, performer, or musical group.
Rep. Joel Rudman, who first introduced the bill in the Florida House, claimed last summer that he decided a law was necessary after “liberals” used their magic powers over Eventbrite to ruin his band’s “God, Guns and Less Government” tour.
As he explained in an unintentionally hilarious Facebook post:
This is what liberals do.
When I announced my concert tour, I used Eventbrite to process free tickets so I could get a rough headcount for each gig. The woke mob liberals flooded the system with fake emails and bogus names, so now we have no way of knowing how many to expect.
Show these radicals what happens when you try to cancel conservatives! Come out in force tomorrow night to Horse Power Pavilion at 7pm.
The liberals tried to cancel my voice. I became Navarre’s Business of the Year. Then they tried to cancel my medical career. I became State Representative. Now they are trying to cancel my concert tour.
Keep it up, Santa Rosa County Democrats! You might just make me Governor!
To be clear, this bill would in no way prevent anyone from nefariously sending fake RSVPs through Eventbrite.
Here, in case you missed this the last time I wrote this nonsense up, is an actual video of Sen. Joel Rudman and his terrible, terrible band, “Dr. Rudman and the Freedom Fighters,” sometimes called “Dr. Rock and the Freedom Fighters,” singing a song with a chorus that actually goes “They call me Dr. Love.”
I have so many questions. What’s with the face paint? Was he halfway through a TikTok contouring hack before he took the stage? Is that why he was late? Why is there a $395 Alexander McQueen scarf wrapped around a microphone? Why am I having some kind of Mandela effect thing happening where I swear to God there was an episode of “The Office” where Michael Scott dressed up exactly like that?
But I digress!
The law doesn’t apply to private venues that haven’t received any public funding (for now). However, many venues that are not necessarily “public” may have received public funds at some point for some reason.
Perhaps ironically, the only “public venue” known to have canceled a performer because they were upset about that person exercising their freedom of speech and expression was Pensacola Christian College, which canceled a performance by The King’s Singers, described by The New York Times as “a renowned British a cappella ensemble,” two hours before they were supposed to go on because one of their members is gay.
Given that this is Florida we are talking about and Ron DeSantis is working on controlling schools and colleges with an iron fist, this sort of incident seems a lot more likely than venues canceling Ted Nugent or refusing to put on James O’Keefe’s latest musical extravaganza, so this may end up blowing up in the faces of the Republicans hoping to pass it. What if a “cultural Marxist” wants to do “cultural Marxism” all over Florida public venues? What will Ron DeSantis do then??? It almost seems worth passing just to see the knots these very wise, forward-thinking people will tie themselves into … but also not.