‘Right to Rock Act’ introduced

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The term “cancel,” which first appeared in the late 2010s and early 2020s, describes a culture in which people are shunned or blacklisted for acting or speaking in a way that is thought to be wrong. This culture is very popular among entertainers, and it impacts them heavily.

A bill was filed earlier last month in the Florida House of Representatives to protect performers from entertainment venues.

Rep. Dr. Joel Rudman, R-Navarre, is the sponsor of HB-15, which he named “The Right to Rock Act.”

The bill states, “An entertainment venue, whether an indoor event venue or an outdoor event venue, that accepts state funding and enters into a contract with a person engaged in a live presentation or performance by a single performer or multiple performers, including musicians, comedians, dancers, and actors, whether or not such person or persons are compensated for the presentation or performance, may not cancel or terminate an executed contract with such person for any reason related to the person’s use of social media or political affiliation.”

According to wfla.com, some believe that the bill was filed to benefit Rudman, who is a member of a classic rock cover band whose “God, Guns and Less Government” was on the receiving end of trolling.

He believed that “woke mob liberals” spammed his Eventbrite with fake names and emails to “cancel” him.

Two weeks later, he filed HB-15.

There are entertainers who use performing as an outlet and believe that this bill should go into effect. Pompano Beach rising star Lil Kari says personal beliefs shouldn’t have anything to do with your talent.

“I definitely agree with the bill,” Lil Kari said. “I feel like a company or whoever should not terminate a contract based off social media or political affiliation, it doesn’t make sense.”

He said that venues should do their homework before booking an artist.

“Also, a person’s political views shouldn’t dictate whether you hire them or not,” Lil Kari said. “Or whether they’re able to perform or not like that’s subjective.”

Lil Kari pointed out that it also shouldn’t matter because at the end of the day, the event is being paid for by American tax dollars and it shouldn’t be personal.

Up and coming artist and songwriter Shabris, also agrees with the bill’s intent.

“It is very easy to judge others who may not do things you like or that align with your morals and beliefs, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions and ways,” Shabris said. “It is not up to a venue to cancel and break a contract of business based on personal feelings or beliefs someone else’s social media or political affiliation.”

HB-15 will be reviewed for consideration during the 2024 legislative session.