Billy Gibbons’ Opening Act Says He Was Fired for Posting Pro-Trump Views
Benton Blount, a contestant from Season 10 of America's Got Talent, claims to have been removed as the opening act on Billy Gibbons' current tour because he promoted his pro-Donald Trump views on social media.
According to the Greenville (S.C.) News, Blount posted a picture of himself wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat and an "I voted" sticker, and holding food from Chick-Fil-A. "Someone reading this just got offended multiple times," is what he says the caption read. "My work here is done! #Vote." Chick-Fil-A's non-profit foundation has become a lightning rod because it has donated millions of dollars to organizations that are considered to be hostile towards LGBTQ rights. Blount's initial Facebook post and photo have since been deleted, and the contents of his text have not been verified.
Upon arriving at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta on Wednesday (Nov. 7) for the next show, Blount says he was informed that he was off the tour. He says he received the news through management and has not spoken to the ZZ Top guitarist personally about the decision. When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Gibbons' tour told Ultimate Classic Rock the change "was a creative decision by management."
"I was banned from Facebook (for 24 hours) and now I’ve just been banned from my opening spot on the Billy Gibbons tour," Blount posted upon his return, along with a 10-minute video where he described what happened (embedded below). "But suppression of conservative opinion doesn’t happen," he quipped, "and it doesn’t effect [sic] your career!"
Blount says that he was banned from Facebook because he "did not meet community standards," adding, "I don't understand what's going on," because he frequently shares political jokes on the Facebook page for his podcast.
Gibbons is currently scheduled to remain on the road through Nov. 18. He is promoting his new album The Big Bad Blues.