A Brooklyn venue has canceled a planned performance by President Ronald Reagan’s attempted assassin, John Hinckley, Jr.
Mr. Hinckley, 67, was granted a full and unconditional release from a federal mental-health facility earlier this month after 41 years of institutionalization for the 1981 attempt on Mr. Reagan’s life.
After being released, Mr. Hinckley planned to embark on a concert series that he called a “redemption tour” over the summer.
Market Hotel, a Brooklyn concert venue slated to host a performance by Mr. Hinckley in July, announced this week that they would cancel the show citing “a dangerously radicalized, reactionary climate.”
In a statement posted on Instagram, Market Hotel, said they decided to cancel after “a lot of serious consideration.”
“There was a time when a place could host a thing like this, maybe a little offensive, and the reaction would be ‘It’s just a guy playing a show, who does it hurt – it’s a free country.’ We aren’t living in that kind of free country anymore, for better or for worse,” the statement read.
The venue said the show was booked through a “third-party promoter,” and that “we approved it because it sounded like an interesting gathering and a memorable night.”
The venue also said Mr. Hinckley’s tour “sends a message that mental health issues and a criminal past can be recovered from and atoned for.”
But they said the sold-out show would have put attendees at risk.
“It is not worth a gamble on the safety of our vulnerable communities to give a guy a microphone and a paycheck from his art who hasn’t had to earn it … and who upsets people in a dangerously radicalized, reactionary climate.”
Mr. Hinckley told The New York Times that he agreed with the decision, saying “we’re living in very, very scary times.”
“I would have only gone on with the show if I was going to feel safe at the show and feel that the audience was going to be safe,” he said.
The Reagan Foundation and Institute said it strongly opposed Mr. Hinckley’s release and his intent “to make a profit from his infamy” in a statement earlier this month.
“The Reagan Foundation and Institute is both saddened and concerned that John Hinckley, Jr. will soon be unconditionally released and intends to pursue a music career for profit,” the statement read.
Mr. Hinckley shot and injured Mr. Reagan and three others during the assassination attempt. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to a mental hospital until his release.
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