Philip Anschutz, the owner of the company that launched Coachella two decades ago, is known for donating a ton of money to right-wing politicians as well as some seriously questionable organizations. While it hasn’t slowed down the festival with headliners this year like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and Khalid, it certainly has got some people questioning the motives behind the event. Here are some of the most shocking things you didn’t know about Anschutz’s involvement in right-wing politics.
Anschutz Still Donates To Anti-LGBT Organizations
When The Freedom for All Americans campaign revealed that Anschutz donated a ton of money to anti-LGBT extremist groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council, people flipped a lid. People were talking about boycotting the festival and the hashtag #BoycottCoachella began to spread like wildfire.
Anschutz jumped into defense mode releasing the following statement:
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…Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of the Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.
While Anschutz stopped donating money to the organizations that were involved in the controversy, it was found that he was still donating to other similar groups that supported anti-LGBT practices.
Anschutz Tried To Make It Right With One Donation
In an attempt to make things right, and let’s face it, end Coachella boycotts, Anschutz made a $1 million donation to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He released another statement that reiterated his original stance on the LGBT community and claiming to basically not know what these organizations he donated to were doing with his money. Hard to believe, but okay. Anschutz also changed how he donates his money. So rather than give money to specific politicians or organizations, he donates to individual GOP state party organizations and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Anschutz Has Donated To Other Right-Wing Organizations
Anti-LGBT organizations are the only right-wing groups who have benefited from Anschutz’s donations. The man has also given a significant amount of money to NumbersUSA Education & Research, which calls itself an “immigration-reduction organization” and aims to end birthright citizenship, chain migration, and the visa lottery system among other things. Over the years, Anschutz has given money to pro-gun, pro-life, anti-marijuana, and other extreme organizations and politicians, some of which has come directly out of the pockets of Coachella festival goers. Perhaps it’s time for a new music festival to take the lead.