Rapper XXXTentacion has canceled his upcoming appearance — the subject of planned student protests — at the University of Montana's Adams Center for the Halloween Lit Party. The rest of the Oct. 27 concert, featuring Tyga, Lil Pump and Famous Dex, will go on as planned.
The Miami rapper is facing trial in December for allegedly beating and strangling his pregnant ex-girlfriend and is not allowed to travel, according to the promoter.
"Due to factors beyond the control of Bonafied Entertainment or the Adams Center GrizTix, previously announced artist XXXTentacion will not be performing during this show. No refunds for tickets purchased prior to this announcement will be made," the organizers said in an email on Thursday afternoon.
Some UM students were preparing protests of the show. Freshman Maggie Bornstein said the concert sent a message that the university will allow alleged violent offenders on campus if it's profitable.
She and fellow student protesters said XXX's planned appearance was especially "terrible" and "embarrassing" in the wake of the national attention and federal intervention over how the campus handles sexual assault, which culminated in Jon Krakauer's book, "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town."
Student Tristan Naeseth said "it's really hypocritical of our school" to allow XXXTentacion to perform on campus while projecting an image that they oppose violence against women.
Bornstein said they would like UM to incorporate a policy on interpersonal violence that could prevent a performer, guest speaker or visiting lecturer who's been accused or convicted of assault from appearing on campus.
Bornstein met with President Sheila Stearns on Thursday and said the president was receptive to their issues with the appearance. Bornstein said it's important that safety is "covered on all bases and they're held to the standards that they themselves have created," especially during the transition to a new administration.
Adams Center Director John McCormick said the protests were the first time that he is aware of that anyone at the facility had heard of the allegations against XXX. If students bring objections to a particular artist, as they were in this case, "we would definitely look into it," he said.
The Adams Center is an auxiliary operation of UM that is not paid for out of the general fund. In this case, a third-party promoter is renting the facility for the concert.
The concert is promoted by Bonafied Entertainment. La Fonte Joe of Bonafied said about 2,000 tickets for the show have been sold. They're looking to add more artists in XXX's place. The concert follows a string of big-name hip-hop shows for his company at the Adams Center, including Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne.
The cancellation announcement included contact information.
XXXTentacion, given name Jahseh Onfroy, has been charged with "aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and witness-tampering" related to incidents in fall 2016, according to Pitchfork Media.
Onfroy was jailed for a time related to the charges, and his recordings on Soundcloud burst in popularity during that period. In late August, he released his first official album, "17," which charted on the Billboard 200.
In September, Pitchfork published an article detailing the alleged abuse based on a 140-page transcript of the girlfriend's testimony at a public defender's office.
They include accusations that he "head-butted her, punched her, stomped on her, and put her in the bathtub, where he continued hitting and kicking her," reporter Marc Hogan wrote.
Other allegations include breaking plastic clotheshangers on her legs, holding her head under water, strangling her, threatening to kill her and their unborn child, and taking her phone and holding her in an apartment against her will. Onfroy has entered a not guilty plea and a trial is scheduled for December.
In response to the publication of these allegations, Onfroy released a series of Instagram videos. Among other things, he said, "if you want your p----- domestically abused, hit my line," and "Everyone who called me a domestic abuser, I'm finna domestically abuse your little sister's p-----," according to Complex.com.