UPDATE (10/13/15, 6:10 p.m. ET): According to the O.C. Register, the visit from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "will go on as planned."
The principal, Deni Christensen, said in a statement: “After careful consideration of varying viewpoints on all sides of the issue surrounding a possible visit by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, it is my hope that we have developed a plan that will meet the needs of our diverse students. In recognition of our students‘ efforts in winning this contest, and a desire to provide students the option of hearing a presentation regarding the music industry, the importance of music education and the arts, along with a Q & A session with the two artists, we will be holding this event after school hours in December.”
Read the original story below.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have made music that can be described in many ways -- mainstream, underground, thoughtful, fun, corny, anthemic -- but rarely, if ever, do we find them grouped into rap's oft-critiqued spaces of misogyny and promoting drug use. But parents and administrators at one California high school have reportedly done just that, and it'll cost students a rare experience and funding for arts programs.
Aliso Niguel High School, in Aliso Viejo, California, recently won a contest, through the online tutoring site Chegg, to bring Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to the school to speak to the students, in addition to a $10,000 grant for the arts department. However, according to a number of social media accounts, as well as a post on Reddit, the administration has declined the money and visit. A student named Quinn Darling uploaded a lengthy post to Instagram about the situation, alleging that due to complaints from parents that the music "promote[s] drug use and misogyny," the visit was stymied.
In addition, he had this to say:
Students of Aliso Niguel High School. As you already know, our school received the most votes and won a visit from @macklemore and @ryanlewis along with a $10,000 grant to our fine arts programs at Aliso. Sadly, due to the complaints of a few parents of Aliso Niguel students, who claim that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are figures who promote drug use and misogyny, our Principaland Administration have decided to decline the visit and music grant. This decision was made regardless of the hour ASB spent debating and countering our Principal's claims. With all due respect, I believe admin has made a huge mistake. I am personally offended by their decision as it is based off outdated evidence and our leaders have failed to see all the amazing movements and messages these artists have focused on spreading over the past few years which would be beneficial to every student at our school. Most significant being a Gay-Rights movement and also many Anti-Drug messages. I am here to say our voice matters and we have been robbed of this amazing opportunity. I encourage you to repost this message or Respectfully share your own thoughts and work with us to spread a movement of Students speaking out for what is fair and just. #bringbackmack
Macklemore has taken notice, and retweeted a tweet with a screenshot of Darling's post, expressing his disappointment with the news.
But the students aren't giving up yet. They've started a Change.org petition, which, as of press time, has almost 3,000 signatures of its goal of 5,000. In addition, students are using the #bringbackmack hashtag to voice their frustrations.
One student even uploaded a video about the ordeal, specifically highlighting what she believes is the importance of the grant in funding the school's music program.
Macklemore, of course, has been very vocal -- in both interviews and his music -- about his past struggle with drugs, the ways in which they negatively affected his life and creative process, and his dedication to his sobriety.
"I have to put the [12-step recovery] program before everything, because everything else depends on it," he told MTV News in July. "So if I put music before it, if I put my family before it, if I put anything before it, then I will lose those things."