AEG CEO Philip Anschutz has had a rough week. It was reported by the Washington Post and then repeated by a slew of clickbait oriented sites that he was in fact Anti-LGBTQ and supported various pro discrimination organizations with donations. AEG is the parent company of Coachella as well as the well known New York based – Bowery Presents.
Let's take a few steps back a little and view this story as objectively as possible now that both sides have had a chance to speak. First Washington Post made claims that Anchutz's foundation had made donation to a faith based charity that was apparently anti-LGBTQ, this then was picked up by other sites. A whisper down the lane effect occurred and soon he Philip might has well of been picketing with the Westboro Baptist Church. The notoriously under fact checked site Uproxx full on stated that Phillip was a climate change denier and full on anti-LGBTQ activist. This claim was then picked up by many dance music sites.
We saw these claims and instead of publishing libel and supporting false claims that might later need to be redacted we reached out to AEG for comment before publishing any information, and luckily last night Philip himself set the record straight. In a statement toRolling Stone Anschutz himself explained that the claims of him being a climate change denier and anti-gay activist were fake news and garbage. His direct quote follows as such:
“Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news – it is all garbage, I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation. We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us – the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.”
He goes onto explain that while in the past he may have donated to groups who are now lobbying against anti-LBGTQ proposed bills, that all donations have since ceased. He also states that while this may have been in the interest of some of the groups who were supported, it was never his own. This was a good lesson to Philip to widely research the groups that his foundation donates to. Let us also niavely hope this is also a good lesson to sites to not parrot an article that lacked credibility.