Apparently not able to learn from the mistakes of venues and universities nationwide who have booked the likes of Martin Shkreli and other human voids, Webster Hall is hosting the Pharma Bro himself on Monday, February 20th.
While the event is noticeably missing from the venue’s calendar on its website, Martin Shkreli is doing his due diligence to promote the engagement.
“An Evening With Martin Shkreli—Martin will discuss investing, healthcare and politics in a presentation/lecture format for one hour and will take questions. There will be a bar session after the Q&A where Shkreli will be available to chat and take photographs. He WILL play tracks from his unreleased music collection (Wu-Tang and more).
The event will take place at Webster Hall on February 20th. 18+ to enter and 21+ to drink. Doors open at 7:00 and the event will end at 11:00pm. Questions should be sent to email@example.com.”
In case you forgot why Martin Shkreli is a dangerous (and disgraceful) excuse for a human, let me refresh your memory with a list of his recent atrocities:
-Shkreli exhibited at Milo Yiannopoulos’s Pro-Trump “art” show in Brooklyn, which was a super hip anti-feminist, white supremacist hang.
-Shkreli is currently banned from Twitter for harassing journalist (and Brooklyn Magazine contributor) Lauren Duca, who gained notoriety for her excellent Teen Vogue piece “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America”.
-Shkreli was named “Proud Boy of the Week,” by the Proud Boys, the gang of belligerent western chauvinist men recently emboldened by Gavin McInnes. McInnes himself had a speaking event at NYU recently, and it was met by a swarm of protestors.
-He was scheduled to speak alongside Yiannopoulos at UC Davis, which was shut down by protestors.
-He was arrested on securities fraud charges in December of 2015, and is still unable to legally travel outside of NY due to his probation.
And let us not forget his original famed offense, gauging the price of pharmaceuticals making them unaffordable, for his own profit.
Speaking engagements hosting alt-right trolls like Milo Yiannopoulos, to full blown Nazis like Richard Spencer, have been popping up all over the country—and are being met with vigilant protest from outraged locals. Many of these tours have even been cancelled due to uproar, and rightfully so. A Yiannopoulos supporter shot a protestor at his speaking event in Seattle, and Oakland organized a massive resistance to Milo’s speaking event at UC Berkley—where he was expected to list off the names of undocumented immigrants who were students.
With all of the current social and political turmoil, it is essential venues respect the artists who play there and the people who attend their shows by not hosting speakers who promote a message of hate—whether it be anti-feminist, white supremacist, anti-LGBTQ, or xenophobic.
Webster Hall booker and co-founder of AdHoc, Ric Leichtung, took to social media to express his disdain for Webster Hall’s actions:
So, why, you ask, would respected and beloved venue Webster Hall choose to provide Shkreli and his hate speech a platform? The venue is available for rental, so it is unlikely that anyone at Webster Hall was involved with the curation of the event, and they are intentionally not promoting it. That doesn’t dismiss that fact that it is happening at their space. When I called Webster Hall to verify the event details were accurate, the receptionist said “Do you actually want to go to that?”
It is up to the community to let Webster Hall know: this is not acceptable. We go to your space to enjoy music that is uplifting and unifying, and breaking our trust by opening your doors to someone like Martin Shkreli is a betrayal to so many people who have played on your stage, celebrated a record release within your walls, booked a band there, or just came by to dance. New York City doesn’t stand for this shit, and neither should Webster Hall. We don’t want to show up to protest, we just want to see good music.
UPDATE: Shkreli’s Eventbrite page no longer lists a location for the event, and according to Ric Leichtung, Webster Hall has no Martin Shkreli event or rental: