More than 500 students signed a petition urging the Undergraduate Student Government to withdraw its selection of rapper Big Sean to perform at Lawnparties May 3, saying his lyrics are offensive to women and gay people.
USG officials said Big Sean had been selected because students had wanted to see performers who were well known. When the USG leaders said they could not make a change because contracts had been signed, opponents of the choice called for a boycott of the concert.
USG president Ella Cheng ’16 said in an April 15 email that the rapper’s lyrics were derogatory and apologized to any student “for whom the Big Sean selection triggered memories of traumatic gender-based or sexuality-based abuse.”
Critics of the rapper’s selection said that while their position might be unpopular with their peers, they did not want tuition fees to be used for “promoting rape culture and misogyny.”
President Eisgruber ’83 termed Big Sean’s lyrics “vile and demeaning to women and LGBT individuals” but said performances “inevitably transgress boundaries” in a statement that addressed the debate and another performance that sparked heated campus discussion, by the student group Urban Congo.