Grace Slick—the former lead singer for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship—has written about licensing her music to a company with a history of donating to anti-gay causes.
Chick-fil-A is a US fast-food chain infamous for donating millions of dollars to anti-gay groups such as the Family Research Council, Exodus International and Focus on the Family.
Slick said an ad agency approached her on behalf of the chicken chain to use the 1987 Starship hit "Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’" for a new commercial.
“Chick-fil-A pisses me off. The Georgia-based company has a well-documented history of funding organizations, through their philanthropic foundation WinShape, that are against gay marriage,” Slick wrote on Forbes.
“In interviews, CEO Dan T. Cathy has critiqued gay-rights supporters who “have the audacity to define marriage” and said they are bringing “God’s judgment” upon the nation.
“I firmly believe that men should be able to marry men, and women women. I am passionately against anyone who would try to suppress this basic human right. So my first thought when 'Check'-fil-A came to me was, “F**k no!”
But then Slick realised, that instead of turning away money from the corporation, she could use the royalty checks for good.
“I am donating every dime that I make from that ad to Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization working to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, and everyone living with HIV.
“Admittedly it’s not the millions that WinShape has given to organizations that define marriage as heterosexual.
“But instead of them replacing my song with someone else's and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to 'Check'-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too.”
Slick encouraged musicians who find themselves in the same position to think about using their music to fight bigotry.
From the moment I agreed to license the song, I knew I wanted to set an example for other artists. I wanted to tell them, “Your art will survive and thrive. Do not let it be used by companies who support intolerance. Don’t be afraid to take a stand. You’re an artist; that’s what we do.”