Beach Boys icon Brian Wilson is blasting the touring band for its planned performance at a controversial trophy-hunting convention Wednesday that will feature big-game hunter Donald Trump Jr.
Both band founders Wilson and Al Jardine are supporting a petition protesting the event and calling for a boycott of the Beach Boys, now fronted by Wilson’s cousin Mike Love, an original band member who owns the legal rights to the Beach Boys’ name on tour.
The Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada, promotes “trophy hunting, which both Al and I are emphatically opposed to,” Wilson tweeted Monday.
“There’s nothing we can do to personally stop” the performance, Wilson noted, so they’re backing the petition to build opposition.
“Tell the Beach Boys to say no to trophy hunting,” says the petition on Change.org. “Wouldn’t it be nice if all the Beach Boys stayed away from those who kill for fun?”
The convention is the world’s biggest “wildlife killing market” with a “staggering 870 companies” that will be selling trophy hunting holidays and wildlife body parts, including animal heads this year, the petition notes.
The petition was seeking 75,000 signatures and had already gathered nearly 70,000 by Monday night.
Mike Love responded in a statement to Pitchfork: “We look forward to a night of great music in Reno and, as always, support freedom of thought and expression as a fundamental tenet of our rights as Americans.”
Trump Jr. and bother Eric are both trophy hunters and have posted controversial photos on social media of themselves with slain animals (or parts of animals). Trump Jr. last year got special treatment from the Mongolian government and killed an endangered argali sheep in the country.
The petition against the hunting convention notes that American hunters will shoot an estimated 20,000 animals among protected species. Victims will include right whales, bald eagles, gray parrots, sloths, Hawksbill turtles and chimpanzees.
Petition signers pledge to stop buying or downloading all Beach Boys music, attending concerts and buying any band merchandise until the band withdraws from the convention and publicly states its “opposition to this sick ‘sport’ of killing animals for ‘fun.’”
It also calls on the Beach Boys’ record label, agent and publicists to “disown” the band, and for members of the public to protest at concerts until the band does so.
Wilson and Love have long represented the very different souls of the Beach Boys. The New York Times has compared the two to Occupy Wall Street (Wilson) vs. Tea Partiers (Love).
Love has praised Trump — and attended his inauguration. Brian Wilson did not.