Brandi Carlile Drops Out of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, ‘Absolutely Cannot Support’ Kirstjen Nielsen
Brandi Carlile has dropped out of the upcoming Fortune's Most Powerful Women summit in Washington, DC. The singer-songwriter says that while "dropping out of such a special appearance is rarely [her] style," she "absolutely cannot support" the inclusion of former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen in the event's lineup.
Carlile, who was scheduled to perform at the Fortune's Most Powerful Women event on Tuesday (Oct. 22), announced her decision to not play the event on Monday morning (Oct. 21). After quoting from her Grammy Awards-winning song "The Joke," Carlile writes on Twitter, "I believe in showing up and lending my voice. Joining the power. However, I don't think that human rights violators and merit-based abusers of displaced people should be given a platform to 'reimagine' history. Ever."
Nielsen, who resigned from her Homeland Security position in April, was in charge of enacting President Donald Trump's current "zero-tolerance" policy of separating immigrant families at the border. Former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and author, filmmaker and activist dream hampton also pulled out of Fortune's event on Friday (Oct. 18).
"At the end of the day, I'm a mother with a ridiculous birthright and a heart for displaced people ... The atrocity of family separation at our Southern border needs to go down in history as one of the United States of America's most merciless acts," Carlile continues. The artist notes that she "believe[s] in showing up and lending my voice. Joining the power," and is "beyond honored" to have been asked to perform at the event, but this particular circumstance calls for a different tactic.
"[Nielsen's] access to power is righteously over," Carlile continues. "I forgive her. I mean no disrespect. I wish her well and hope that she comes to understand the error in her part of this shameful policy."
Carlile, an award-winning solo artist and member of the Highwomen, is also known for being an outspoken advocate of causes in which she believes and issues that are important to her. For example, back in 2016, when North Carolina lawmakers signed a law that dictated that people must use the bathrooms that match the sex indicated on their birth certificates, Carlile chose to continue with plans to perform in the state, although some other artists canceled their shows there, and used her concerts there to raise money for the ACLU Foundation of North Carolina
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