Should You Boycott Rockstar?
A few months ago, Charles C.C. Tsai learned that homophobic right-wing radio talk-show host Michael Savage was affiliated Rockstar Energy Drink, which is popular in gay clubs and bars. Rockstar Energy Drink was apparently founded and is currently operated by a man named Russell Weiner.
Weiner is the son of Michael Savage, whose real last name is Weiner. Savage’s wife, Janet Weiner, is the CFO of both Rockstar Energy Drinks and Savage Productions; as well as Secretary & Treasurer of the Conservative Paul Revere Society.
In the past, Savage has provoked the ire of gays and Muslims, for comments like these: "You want me to tell you what makes me sick? When I see two puffy white males kissing each other, I want to puke. When I see two women kissing each other, on the lips, as lovers, I want to vomit"; and "children’s minds are being raped by the homosexual mafia, that’s my position. They’re raping our children’s minds." During his short-lived show on MSNBC, Savage told a gay caller that he hoped the man would "get AIDS and die."
Savage has gotten heat from Muslim groups as well, for comments like saying Muslims "need deportation", and that adherents of Islam would do well to "take your religion and shove it up your behind" because "I’m sick of you."
Tsai was the creator of the "Boycott Rockstar" group on Facebook. Membership of the group soon swelled to 12,000. Savage denied any involvement with Rockstar Energy Drink. However, according to the Website Thetruthaboutrockstarenergydrink.com, a document exists showing Savage’s production company shares joint ownership of a building with Rockstar, Inc.
The Weiner family did not take too kindly to a boycott of their company. On May 27, Tsai’s account was shut down without explanation. Tsai was also threatened with a libel suit by Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro, LLP. Robert Shapiro was one of the attorneys who successfully defended OJ Simpson.
A number of other blogs, including Bilerico.com, Alternet, and GayWired.com were also threatened with lawsuits and were subjected to harassment by Rockstar.