In Wake of Zimmerman Verdict, Stevie Wonder Boycotts Florida Venues

Monday, July 22, 2013

Singer Stevie Wonder onstage at the BET Awards at the Kodak Theatre in 2005. Singer Stevie Wonder onstage at the BET Awards at the Kodak Theatre in 2005. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty)

A little over a week ago, in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, Stevie Wonder announced that he’d be boycotting the state of Florida and all other states with Stand Your Ground laws.

It’s a decision that’s been heralded by a number of other performers—including Dionne Warwick and Mary Mary—who have joined Wonder in his boycott.

But what do people in Florida, specifically those in the Florida music scene, think about this boycott? Jerry Dufrain, co-owner of The Orpheum music venue in Tampa, weighs in. Craig Kopp, a host at Takeaway affiliate WUSF in Tampa, discusses the backlash against the state and whether there really is a problem with Florida. 

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Jerry Dufrain and Craig Kopp

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer


T.J. Raphael

Comments [8]


i salute you Stevie for your mega-talent, but your boycott of Florida is sheer stupidity! You, and any other ill-informed celebrities DO NOT dictate public policy. so, you can just Keep your dumb ass at home!
luvya, man!

Jul. 26 2013 02:50 PM

Stevie who?

Jul. 22 2013 04:11 PM

I can't help but laugh at John Hockenberry's comment that "Florida is ahead of the curve" compared to the rest of the nation regarding minorities. I guess you could have made the same statement about Selma Alabama during the civil rights fights during the sixties, and it would have been just as wrong headed. Florida is in the news because it's laws and policies are problematic and controversial. It's that simple.

Jul. 22 2013 03:43 PM

OMG this is so rich.

Steveland, old buddy; you will end up boycotting your home state of Michigan and your boyhood homes in Flint and Detroit.

Because Michigan passed -- on a bipartisan vote and with the signature of liberal Dem firebrand Jennifer Granholm (when she was wasting the state's time serving as a two-term governor) -- a stand your ground law.


Jul. 22 2013 11:47 AM
Vipyr82 from Sarasota

Because punishing the many for the actions of a few is so productive? How a "Million Hoodie March" as a sign of solidarity?

Jul. 22 2013 11:13 AM
Joyce from NYC

The President sai that he,like other black men, has been followed in department stores.

Why might store security follow a black man an not follow, say, an Asian man? Might it have something to do with past experience?

What are the statistics here?

How many "White Hispanics" have killed someone over the past year, vs "black black men"?

Jul. 22 2013 09:55 AM
Mr. Wakiki

Craig is right

American's should boycott because they have prove vigilante laws, they should boycott all the states with vigilante law. Wonder what his stance is on lynch.

Jul. 22 2013 09:40 AM

In other words the boycott of Florida is stupid.
We were supposed to hate Texas earlier this month.
Who will be the subject of the two minutes of progressive hate next week?

Jul. 22 2013 09:38 AM

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