Country music singer and “America’s Got Talent” finalist Benton Blount likes to post memes to Facebook “poking fun at politics,” but he never suspected he would lose a gig because of his conservative views.
“I don’t understand what’s going on,” Blount told The Greenville News.
Blount posted a picture to his Facebook page on Election Day that showed him eating a Chick-Fil-A sandwich, while wearing a Make America Great Again hat and wearing an “I voted” sticker, along with the message: “Someone reading this just got offended multiple times. My work here is done! #Vote”
Shortly after, Blount was banned from Facebook because the post allegedly “did not meet community standards.”
And that was just the beginning.
“I had to wait 24 hours and I got back out of (Facebook) jail,” Blount said in a video posted Wednesday. “I drove down here from Greenville, South Carolina to the venue (in Atlanta). I get a call from my friend from California who informs me that not only have I been banned from Facebook, as a result being banned from Facebook I was pulled off the Billy Gibbons tour, effective immediately.”
“I was banned from Facebook (for 24 hours) and now I’ve just been banned from my opening spot on the Billy Gibbons tour,” Blount wrote in the post. “But suppression of Conservative opinion doesn’t happen and it doesn’t affect your career!”
A spokesman for Billy Gibbons, the former guitarist for ZZ Top, confirmed that Blount was kicked off the program in a prepared statement that gave no rational for the move, according to FOX Carolina.
Blount spoke with Wolf Radio 93.3’s Ritch Cassidy about the ordeal.
“I do not know who reported it. And they didn’t just take the picture down, they took down and blocked me for 24 hours from posting or replying, liking, anything. So basically the whole day of the election I was removed from Facebook from telling people they should go vote,” he said.
Blount said he had already performed four shows of a seven-show schedule with Gibbons when he was kicked off the tour.
“We never heard anything from anybody,” he said. “My producer from L.A. called me and let me know they were removing me from the tour. So I didn’t even hear it direct from the tour itself, it was from a secondary party.”
“I was told it was due to the Facebook posting being pulled down, and the word backlash was actually used but there was no backlash to the picture,” Blount told Cassidy. “There was no negative things about the tour. …
“So there was really no reasoning for it,” he said.
Blount said he had not talked to Gibbons in person about the situation, and he’s unsure what extent Gibbons played in his ouster.
Regardless, Blount said he won’t let Facebook or anyone else keep him from speaking his mind.
“As cool as this tour is, I’m not going to start not posting a picture of me voting because somebody might realize I voted for somebody they don’t like,” he posted to Facebook.