Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender activist and contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times says he wants to ban famous rock songs, similarly to how activists have done with Confederate symbols because they find them offensive.
“I want to live in a world where I can be moved by art and music and literature without having to come up with elaborate apologies for that work or for its creators”
The fan of revisionist history, Boylan urged listeners to scrap iconic artists and songs, including Don McLean’s “American Pie” and the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar,” if the artists have personal flaws or their lyrics are not sufficiently “inclusive” or “just.”
Boylan’s puritanical approach to pop culture comes at the same time when transgender campaigners are pushing for the comedian Dave Chappelle’s Netflix comedy show to be canceled. Chappelle compared transgenderism to wearing blackface in his Netflix standup special The Closer, and stated that “gender is a fact.”
This week, Stones fans are fighting back against the band’s decision to remove ‘Brown Sugar’ from the band’s 13-date US tour over fears the British rockers would be ‘cancelled’ by woke music fans who take issue with lyrics like the opening lines: ‘Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields / Sold in the market down in New Orleans / Skydog slaver knows he’s doin’ all right / Hear him whip the women just around midnight.’
Confirming its removal from this setlist in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Keith Richards said the band did not want to get into ‘conflicts’ over the song. But furious Rolling Stones fans said they don’t understand the controversy surrounding the track as it is clearly anti-slavery, with many saying artists should be free to express themselves without fearing ‘cancel culture’ and are demanding the band reintroduce the song by bombarding the group’s official Instagram account with requests for it to be performed.
The last time the Stones played the hit single, which has sold more than 2.7million copies since its release, was in August 2019, in Miami and the performance was met with a backlash over its suitability for a 2021 audience.
In his column, Boylan suggested that eliminating a work from an artist’s repertory would not be enough. “If the Stones don’t know why the song has to go, does simply removing it from their tour sheet go far enough?”?” Boylan remarked in response to Keith Richards’ confusion about the Stones’ recent decision to delete “Brown Sugar,” a song about slavery, from future performances.
Richards, who recorded the song with Jagger over a three-day session at the famed Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama, said he was taken aback by the recent discomfort about the song – a graphic story about slavery, with the song’s first verse depicting a slave driver whipping a group of women. In the past, the band has frequently changed its controversial lyrics since the song was first created, starting with Jagger changing the title from ‘Black P____’ to Brown Sugar.
From the looks of it, they will not be re-introducing the tune to their U.S. tour’s set-list.