Maryland Juice writer Dan Furmansky previously reported on a controversial music act coming to The Fillmore Silver Spring this coming Monday. Indeed, news that the Mexico City rock-rap band Molotov was coming to Montgomery County prompted criticism of their famous anti-gay lyrics from LGBT activists and County Executive Ike Leggett. Below Dan Furmansky provides us on an update to the story, including a response from the band and news of an "education" protest outside the Fillmore (8656 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD at 6:30 pm on Monday, August 26, 2013):
DAN FURMANSKY: This coming Monday, a band called Molotov that specializes in anti-gay epithets will play at the Fillmore Silver Spring as part of its North American tour. The ruckus here in Montgomery County against this band was, for a hot minute, seemingly successful at modifying the band’s anti-gay ways. In response to our expressions of upset and concern locally, which included a strong letter of concern from County Executive Leggett, combined with similar protestations across the country and in Latin America, along with pressure from national LGBT media watchdog GLAAD and Molotov’s sponsor for its North American tour — Jagermeister — Molotov committed publicly to ratcheting down the homophobia in a few different ways. Sadly, their commitments were hot air — unsurprising coming from a clearly emotionally stunted group of gutter-talkers who likely wrote their lyrics in a 7th grade boys’ locker room.
PROTEST & ONLINE PETITION DETAILS: So…it appears the while the show at the Fillmore will go on, they will not be met unchecked. I received an email from Equality Maryland Board Chair Evan Glass (in both English and Espanol) that the group will be holding an educational rally this Monday. Here’s the gist:
Please join Equality Maryland, Casa Ruby and others from around the area to educate fans going to the Molotov concert at the Filmore on Monday, August 26th.
Molotov is a Latin Grammy Award winning Mexican rock band. They are on a U.S. tour right now. One of their songs, “Puto” contains the phrase “matarile al maricon,” which translates to “kill the faggot.” This phrase was recently used by a group of people who attacked Esteban Navarro in Chile and is too frequently used all around Spanish speaking communities.
We appreciate that Molotov released a statement saying, “no one should be a target of violence because they are LGBT.” They also said they would refrain from using this hurtful phrase during their US tour. However, they should stop using this word in any country and should encourage their fans to not use it. Words matter. Words may hurt or heal. We must stand united against hatred and violence.
We will talk to fans as they enter the concert and share why words matter and encourage them to sign a petition urging Molotov to stop using this phrase at all their concerts and to encourage their fans from using it as well. We will also have a postcard for fans that they can take and read later. People can also go online and sign a petition at www.equalitymaryland.org/words-matter.
We will meet in front of the Filmore, 8656 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910 at 6:30 on Monday, August 26, 2013. Please feel free to bring signs. We will provide petitions and postcards.
A FEW THOUGHTS: First, major kudos go to County Executive Leggett for expressing strong concerns about the violent nature of some of this band’s lyrics. Unfortunately, Mr. Leggett’s communication with the Fillmore was met with criticism that he was “bullying” the Fillmore and “suppressing free speech.” Council Member Hans Riemer was one of those who took to social media to lay criticism at the feet of the County Executive. Mind you, Mr. Leggett has zero leverage to dictate what shows the Fillmore books, so I’m not sure how exactly he was suppressing free speech. But I, as one among many, thank Mr. Leggett for his forceful words in the name of his own free speech.
When the leader of a jurisdiction as large as Montgomery County singles out a band for bullying language and it appears in the Washington Post and beyond, that is the sort of action that leads a band like Molotov to make some tangible commitments of change, which they did. Sadly, some of those commitments were short-lived. Here’s more from the Huffington Post (excerpt below):
HUFFINGTON POST: Molotov is dropping the word “maricón.” The Mexican rock band issued a statement via Twitter Monday night saying it would drop the anti-gay slur in light of a vicious attack against Chilean teen Esteban Navarro. Assailants allegedly attacked the 19-year-old Navarro last month with a machete, knives and iron bars while yelling anti-gay insults at him. The attack resulted in the amputation of Navarro's leg.
“As an act of solidarity with Esteban Navarro and the LGBT community, we are choosing to refrain from using the word “maricon” in our song lyrics during our upcoming U.S. tour,” Molotov's statement says. “This word was used by Esteban’s assailants in this pointless attack, and therefore, has no place in our set.”
Molotov's statement comes amid pressure from LGBT activists to drop "Puto," one of their most popular songs, from their set-list ahead of a U.S. tour beginning Tuesday in Orlando.
|Hate crime victim Esteban Navarro|
Promising stuff. But at the outset, activists questioned the sincerity behind standing with a Chilean hate crime victim, not in Latin America, but in the States, and only in English. The band was also unmoved by concerns about usage of the word “Puto,” which is chanted about five gazillion times in the namesake song. “Puto” is also clearly an anti-gay epithet in many countries, including Mexico.
MOLOTOV SAYS "YOU CAN GO F*CK YOUR WHORE MOTHER" - In any case, it doesn’t appear the band has followed through on making any sort of comments about not targeting gay people when they encourage their arena of largely teenage, male fans to shout “Puto” at the top of their lungs. A few concert-goers have actually managed to gather video from their tour and it hasn’t been promising.
At one concert, in the middle of the performing “Puto,” the band shouts: "Esta cancion va dedicada a todos aquellos que se quieren meter con nuestra libertad de expresion. Pueden chingar a su puta madre." The translation from local activist Gabriel Rodriguez-Rico is this: This song is for all those who want to mess with our freedom of speech. You can go f*ck your whore mother.
Welcome to Silver Spring, Molotov! We’re all so glad that the Fillmore Silver Spring, aka the Walmart of music venues, has rolled out the red carpet for you. Molotov is a vile group. But I reserve the lion’s share of my disgust for the Fillmore Silver Spring for booking gutter acts in the name of their almighty bottom dollar.
See you Monday…
- Dan Furmansky