If you’re not a fan of Mayhem Fest’s lineup this year, Otep Shamaya is with you, but not for the reasons you’d think. Rather, she’s not a fan of festival sponsors Rockstar Energy Drink, who she claims kept her band off the tour. The reason? Homophobia, according to Shamaya.
Shamaya, who is a lesbian, tweeted the following yesterday:
“Lots of ppl asking why we aren’t on @MayhemFest this year. Could it be that one of their corporate sponsors is openly homophobic? Hmmm…”
In response to fans who questioned her claim:
“respect for being a tribe member. But I’ve been doing this for more than 10 yrs. I know a thing or 2 about a thing or 2″
Now, it’s easy to say that Shamaya’s claims are unfounded as many people will point out Otep isn’t exactly as popular as they once were and that she might just be mad the band isn’t on the festival. On the other hand, as hard as it might be to believe, there are still people who discriminate over sexuality in any business. The closest ties anyone at Rockstar has with homophobia is tenuous at best, though. Rockstar CEO Russell Weiner is the son of Michael Savage, a rabid right wing talk show host that’s made homophobic remarks in the past. However, the company has distanced itself from Savage, and even agreed to donate $100,000 to GLBT organization. And that was five years ago. Since then, the pendulum has towards accepting those regardless of their sexual orientation, and gay marriage is even legal in many states.We obviously have no way of knowing how true Shamaya’s allegations are, but we expect that someone from Rockstar will form a response to Shamaya’s comments sooner or later.