Graham Williams of Austin-based Margin Walker Presents, called the decision to join a boycott of historic Houston venue Fitzgerald’s following accusations of racism earlier this week an easy call.
Williams said he hasn’t done many booking at Fitzgerald’s since club owner Sara Fitzgerald retook the room a few years ago, and he has moved an upcoming show by rap artist Oddisee and a couple other unannounced bookings from the venue.
“This decision to move wasn’t hard and already, somewhat, in process,” he said via email Thursday. “Those horrible comments made the decision easy.”
The controversy began on Tuesday when Houston promoter Garrett Brown a.k.a. Traxxsounds posted screenshots of an email interaction between himself and club management on Twitter.
Brown said he reached out to the club to book the rap duo Starlito & Don and received an expletive-laden response that maligned “the fans that wear their pants under their (expletive) with their underwear showing, drink and smoke pot in the parking lot, then scream, ‘you racist (expletive)’ when I ask that they take their lit joint outside.”
“300 fans that buy little, tip little and create big disharmony – no thanks,” the email, signed Fitzgerald’s, read.
Brown responded civilly, “Wow…sounds like quite the stereotype but if that’s how you feel then all power to you. A simple no would have worked as well but it sounds like you have some aggression build up [sic] about something else. Have a good week and god bless you.”
Then he posted the screenshots and called for the boycott. Several artists and promoters signed on quickly.
Club owner Sara Fitzgerald told Chris Gray from the Houston Press that her response to Brown quoted lyrics from one of the songs Brown submitted to her. She defended her club’s record supporting Houston hip-hop.