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A Brooklyn music venue announced it has canceled a scheduled performance by John Hinkley Jr., saying having the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan perform was not worth the potential risk to the community posed by those offended by the event.
In a lengthy social media post, Market Hotel explained that they scheduled the concert because they felt it would be an “interesting” and “memorable” show. The New York City establishment made it clear that they don’t agree with the idea that they shouldn’t be able to hold such an event and made the decision after weighing the pros and cons.
“Hosting provocative events in and of itself is valid and should be part of any venue’s reason for existence,” the Market Hotel said in a statement posted on Instagram, adding that Hinckley’s performance “sends a message that the issues of mental health and a criminal past can be recovered and atoned for[.]”
Hinckley, 67, is a free man and was granted his full release Wednesday, 41 years after shooting Reagan, then-White House press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service officer and a police officer. .
REAGAN ATTEMPTED TO ASSASSIN JOHN HINCKLEY SELLS NEW YORK CONCERT VENUE: REPORT
Hinckley was inspired by the Martin Scorsese film “Taxi Driver” when he photographed the newly elected Reagan in an attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster. He was found not guilty due to insanity, but spent more than 30 years in a psychiatric hospital.
A judge had granted Hinckley a conditional release to her mother’s home in 2016, and those conditions were lifted this week.
Hoping for a musical career, Hinckley had booked the performance at the Market Hotel for July 8, which sold out.
“Thank you so much to everyone who helped me get my unconditional release. It’s been such a long and strange journey. Now it’s time to rock and roll,” Hinckley, who sings and plays guitar, tweeted on June 1.
REAGAN ATTEMPTED TO ASSASSIN JOHN HINCKLEY FULLY RELEASED AFTER 41 YEARS
In announcing the cancellation of the July 8 show, Market Hotel indicated that they made the decision reluctantly.
“There was a time when a place could host something like this, maybe a little offensive, and the reaction would be ‘it’s just a guy playing a show, who cares, it’s a free country,'” they said. “We don’t live in that kind of free country anymore, for better or worse.”
In its statement, the venue said they chose to cancel “after being presented with and reflecting on some very real and worsening threats and hate facing our vulnerable communities…and after seeing the nature of who has antagonized this preserve.” , and who and what else those same people are upset.”
They insisted that the show itself would have been harmless. “This is a sexagenarian with an acoustic guitar,” they said. “Make no mistake: Canceling this concert will not deter future killers and will have no effect on mass shootings, and it certainly will not reverse the horrible thing Hinckley did 40 years ago.”
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Ultimately, the Market Hotel acknowledged that scheduling Hinckley’s performance was a “stunt booking” based on Hinckley’s past violence, and since they don’t believe his music transcends his reputation, it wasn’t worth going ahead with the show. as a matter of principle.
“It’s not worth gambling on the safety of our vulnerable communities to give a microphone and a check for his art to a guy who hasn’t had to earn it, who doesn’t matter to us artistically and who annoys people in a reactionary climate and dangerously radicalized,” he said.
Stephen Sorace and Andrea Vacchiano of Fox News contributed to this report.