If you watched the Grammys last month, you may have seen this commercial for Chick-fil-A featuring cows handing out virtual reality headsets.
The song in the background is the 1986 classic “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship… which means the band received money for the use of their music.
How does a famously psychedelic band from San Francisco reconcile their music being used to promote a company whose Christian owners are known to donate to anti-gay groups?
Singer Grace Slick recently answered that question in an article for Forbes:
But then she changed her mind. She let the company use her music… knowing she was going to give all the money made from that deal directly to a group fighting for LGBTQ rights.
Chick-fil-A pisses me off. The Georgia-based company has a well-documented history of funding organizations, through their philanthropic foundation WinShape, that are against gay marriage. 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.
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. So my first thought when “Check”-fil-A came to me was, “F**k no!”
I am donating every dime that I make from that ad to Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization working to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, and everyone living with HIV. Admittedly 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.
Considering she made this decision before saying yes, rather than finding a rationalization after the fact, it’s not a bad idea. Most people who see the commercial won’t have any clue what’s going on behind the scenes, but Slick’s donation allows her to talk about the issue and remind people that the people who make money from Chick-fil-A are spending it on suppressing civil rights.
That was going to happen regardless. At least with this stunt, some people who weren’t paying attention during the Great Chick-fil-A War of 2012 might realize they would rather spend their money elsewhere.
(Featured image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Scott for the link)