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Audience walks out on singer after anti-gay slur at Yoshi's

March 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A gay slur made at a famous San Francisco nightclub is making news across the country. Singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked went on a rant during a show at Yoshi's in San Francisco Sunday night that caused more than half the audience to walk out. Show-goers are still outraged and the singer is already paying a price.

Fans of Shocked were expecting to enjoy one of their favorite singers, but instead, they walked out in disgust about an hour into the music. Yoshi's in San Francisco did something they have never done before -- they stopped the show.

Starting in the 80s, Shocked built a reputation as an alternative folk singer who later became a born-again Christian. Sunday night on the stage at Yoshi's, she developed a new reputation in just minutes.

"Yes, I was offended," said San Francisco resident James Patterson. He was among the 200 patrons who watched the singer launch into an anti-gay rant. He said the singer said, "'When they stop Proposition 8 and priests are forced at gunpoint to marry gay people, then that will lead to the downfall of civilization and Jesus will return.'"

Employees at Yoshi's were stunned.

Marketing director Lisa Bautista got a call at home about what Shocked was saying. "'Hypocrisy of the Bible, she's talking about the Rapture is coming, the End of Days are here,'" Bautista said. The singer also used an anti-gay slur. "And she said, 'You can retweet that,' and she encouraged the audience," Bautista said.

Yoshi's artistic director, Derek Hunter, also got a call and pulled the plug on the act. He said, "My immediate reaction was turn on the lights, turn off the microphone and please get her off the stage. This cannot happen anywhere, especially in this day and age and most assuredly in San Francisco."

"Yes, what she said was abhorrent and I hope that she can get some help," said Patterson.

Yoshi's says it is not paying her and patrons will get a voucher for another show. The HopMonk Tavern in Novato has cancelled her upcoming show and she's been cancelled in Santa Cruz, Portland and suburban Chicago.

We have been unable to reach the singer for comment.


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