Kid Rock booted from Nashville Christmas Parade after Joy Behar insult.
But he might show up anyway even though sponsors have invited Waffle House mass shooting hero James Shaw Jr. to be the new grand marshal.
Late Friday three of the parade’s main organizers stripped Rock of the title after the music star made controversial comments that morning which quickly caused a public backlash and led Nashville’s mayor to threaten sitting out of the event.
But there’s a split among the parade’s sponsors over the decision. Steve Smith, the owner of several Lower Broadway bars that are co-organizers of the parade, vowed that Rock will be at the parade and will remain the grand marshal.
Top parade organizers — Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Piedmont Natural Gas and Tennessee Holiday Productions — announced the decision to part ways with Rock for the 65th annual parade in a joint statement.
“Parade organizers feel that the grand marshal should personify the spirit of the Nashville community and have invited James Shaw, Jr., who became a community hero after stopping a shooting at a local Waffle House earlier this year, to be honored,” the statement said.
“The parade is a fun family tradition that also raises money for worthy charitable causes. We appreciate the hundreds of community volunteers who are working hard to make this year’s parade another great event.”
But other parade sponsors include Tootsie’s and several other Lower Broadway honky-tonk bars owned by Smith, who is a business partner with Rock on the recently opened Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse. Proceeds visit the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Smith said Rock will be in the parade and keep the title.
“Until someone reimburses us, he will be in the parade tomorrow morning and he will be the grand marshal,” Smith told reporters via conference call.
The move comes after Rock, whose real name is Robert James Richie, appeared on Fox & Friends Friday morning and, in remarks, seemed to downplay complaints about racism and homophobia as political correctness. He also called television personality Joy Behar, co-host of The View, a “b—-.”
“God forbid you say something a little bit wrong, you’re racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, this that and another. People need to calm down get a little less politically correct,” Rock said.
“I would say, ‘love everybody,’ except I’d say, ‘screw that Joy Behar b—-,'” he added in his appearance, taped live appearance from Rock’s honky-tonk.