Grace Slick Explains Her Decision to License a Starship Hit to Chick-Fil-A
Grace Slick's lifelong dedication to progressive politics doesn't jibe with the conservative causes funded by the company that owns Chick-Fil-A, but the former Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship singer decided to license one of her hits to a commercial for the restaurant anyway — and she's explained her surprising decision in a new op-ed for Forbes.
Saying that her initial reaction when approached about using Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" was "F--- no," Slick singles out Chick-Fil-A's "well-documented history of funding organizations, through their philanthropic foundation WinShape, that are against gay marriage" as a major reason she was opposed to lending her voice to a promotional campaign for the restaurant.
"In interviews, CEO Dan T. Cathy has critiqued gay-rights supporters who 'have the audacity to define marriage' and said they are bringing 'God’s judgment' upon the nation," writes Slick. "I firmly believe that men should be able to marry men, and women women. I am passionately against anyone who would try to suppress this basic human right."
But after considering the proposal, Slick realized she had an opportunity to put the company's money to use for a cause she supports — specifically Lambda Legal, an organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of LGBTQ individuals and people infected with HIV.
"Admittedly," Slick continues, "it’s not the millions that WinShape has given to organizations that define marriage as heterosexual. But instead of them replacing my song with someone else's and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to 'Check'-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too. We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back."
As Slick goes on to explain, it's all of a piece with the artistic integrity she identifies with her formative years — a time when "a time when artists didn’t just sell their soul to the highest bidder, when musicians took a stand, when the message of songs was 'feed your head,' not 'feed your wallet.'" Saying she hopes to set an example for artists by proving "we can use our gifts to help stop the forces of bigotry," she quips, "Nothing's gonna stop us now."
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