The organizers of a Fourth of July celebration in Longview, Texas, have decided to pay rocker-turned-conservative activist Ted Nugent $16,000 to not appear at their holiday music event as planned, according to KLTV.
Preparing to hold its second annual Fourth of July festival at the Maude Cobb Convention Center, event organizers contacted several artists in hopes of booking them for the date. One of those artists was rocker Ted Nugent with whom the event planners had reached a verbal agreement
However, Nugent has become increasingly more controversial during his stint campaigning for Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, causing the organizers to reconsider the performer’s appearance.
Faced with a guaranteed performance fee of $32,000, the City of Longview instead agreed to pay Nugent $16,000 out of the Maude Cobb annual budget to not appear.
Nugent has recently come under fire for, among other things, using Nazi imagery to refer to President Barack Obama as a “subhuman mongrel“, drawing criticism from Texas Republicans, including Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz.
Longview Public Information Officer Shawn Hara explained that the buy-out would not significantly impact the city’s ability to pay for the festival, but that having Nugent appear was, “not the right feel for this kind of community event.”