Bil Browning

Rockstar Energy Drink fracas update

Filed By Bil Browning | June 28, 2009 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: Michael Savage, positive thinking, positive updates, Rockstar Energy Drink

UPDATE 2: Over the course of the last few weeks, Bilerico Project and Change.org have worked closely with Rockstar Energy Drink to take concrete steps on addressing LGBT rights. We are pleased to announce though these discussions a bold agreement was reached between Rockstar and several LGBT rights organizations. This agreement resulted in significant changes to Rockstar Energy Drink's corporate practices to reflect LGBT-friendly policies, and also saw more than $100,000 distributed to four LGBT organizations through a multi-year, systemic gift. More details here. -Bil

UPDATE: We win! Rockstar Energy Drink to Donate $100K+ to LGBT Orgs & Bloggers -Bil

After Rockstar Energy Drink threatened to sue Bilerico Project for linking the drink with Michael Savage, I posted about their lawyer's dickish attitude and over-the-top aggressiveness. rockstar.jpgThis led to a much more civil and appropriate conversation with Rockstar Energy Drink's company executives and I have a positive update to the saga.

Change.org LGBT editor Michael Jones wrote the original guest post for us that upset Rockstar's legal team. Michael, Change.org owner Ben Rattray, and I have been negotiating with the energy drink's management to move the company forward on LGBT issues and encourage them to condemn Savage's hateful speech. While there have been a few hiccups along the way, I can easily say that the company is remorseful for their stupid lawyer's threatening tactics and wants to make good with the LGBT community.

Look for an announcement next week hopefully.


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Looking forward to the news.

A bit too skeptically for my own good, perhaps, but I'm tryng hard to stay away from being cynical about it.

I understand your skepticism and I have to admit that I've also been a little dubious through these past few weeks.

I must say though - the management of Rockstar (including Russ Weiner) aren't carbon copies of Savage. We can't hold the son responsible for his father's actions; we have to hold Savage responsible for his own statements.

I think you'll be happy with the results we've negotiated. In my opinion, Rockstar freaked out when it saw the bad publicity, told their lawyers about it and then big-bad-Kevin-Badass-lawyer got in his head that threatening legal action was the best idea. Duh. Uh, no.

The Rockstar folks have negotiated in good faith.

Somewhere, someone must have screen shots of the old RS website that claimed that Savage was the co-inventor of the stuff.

With that, we can make three statements:

1. That they did claim the tie when they though that it was in their economic interests to do so.

2. That they are now aggressively distancing themselves publicly from the association.

3. They are obfuscating the truth.

It is ironic that we are indirectly boycotting Pepsi which has the master distribution agreement. They are being boycotted by AFA for being too gay friendly.

I am going to post a carefully worded article on Tips-Q tomorrow just to get another hit into Google News.

BTW, Sullivan protection clearly applies to Russ Weiner. Defamation requires proving not only that the tie to Savage is incorrect but that the author KNOWS that it is incorrect.

tobyhannabill | June 29, 2009 1:38 AM

Is it Pepsi or Coke?

They are currently distributed by Coke. They're switching to Pepsi distributorship soon.

If they are willing to repudiate anti-gay rhetoric, does proving any of that really matter?

I'm astonished! What do you suppose brought about this wish for such a radical change in their public image, if not in their heart and mind? Whatever the cause, and whatever the result, it seems you have done a terrific job of sleuthing and are one hell of an advocate.

Hopefully, you will highlight the post with their statement when it comes out. I'll be very interested to see it. Thanks to all of you for all your hard work.

I'll definitely highlight the statement. From the drafts I've seen it'll be big news. :)

You have to realize that the main consumers of energy drinks are teens and young adults. The last election has shown that this demographic segment has become more center to left-of-center in its politics. To have a neo-con dinosaur, such as Michael Savage, as their poster boy is detrimental to sales.

Hi Bill! First I want to thank you for continuing your coverage of this matter in spite of the bullying that you received by the Rockstar Energy Drink legal team. I have been dealing with aggressive legal threats for some time and I am currently defending my right to own thetruthaboutrockstar.com. I can tell you, honestly and devoid of doubt that any apparent attempt at resolution or ideological change that Rockstar appears to be making, is completely and utterly false. Furthermore, they employ a powerful and respected legal team that understands just how dangerous they can be, if they can secure your trust.

As the founder of this movement, Rockstar Energy Drink has shown me their fangs time and time again. They are absolutely driven to silence us and completely devoted to preventing the truth from being known.

Stay Strong,

Jack Griffin
The Truth About Rockstar

We've both been through quite a bit, eh?

I can't speak for Rockstar, obviously, but I'm hopeful that those fangs will be withdrawn in your case as well. It's my understanding that the legal beagles will be called off.

Thanks for bring the whole mess to our attention, Jack. I think your work is about to pay off for our community.

Reconciliation begins with the truth. Will Rockstar publicly admit they have ties to ultraconservatives and hate groups? Will they renounce those ties?

I can't answer those questions until the statement has been released, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Here is the "thing". Rockstar has been outed. I have FIVE teens who make sure EVERYONE they know doesn't buy it and everyone they know is telling everyone else they know about all this.

All five of my phiistines are on a major anti-rockstar boycott.

Now what do we know about Monster? Cause that's what the kids are drinking now.

Are you suggesting that we temper our anger and pull pack on the boycott until a press release comes out?

Any about face is all about the money. Big money. If Russ Weiner was really concerned about the hate his father spews and he is associate with he would have taken a stand and clarified his position a long time ago. I don't hear any of his friends stepping out and defending is liberal equality human rights platform.

The only way I see this turning is around is for Russ personally and Rockstar to throw thousands of dollars and huge PR at gay causes like marriage equality and Don't Ask.

But first maybe he should tell his pop to stop hyping his drink on the radio.

Are you suggesting that we temper our anger and pull pack on the boycott until a press release comes out?

Somewhat, yes. I think anyone has the right to stand up against something they see as wrong, so make your own decision on what's right for you.

But first maybe he should tell his pop to stop hyping his drink on the radio.

It's my understanding that has already happened since it wasn't being done at Rockstar's request.

One small aside - after all of the weeks worth of negotiations, one thing has become very clear. The management of Rockstar Energy Drink does not share the same views as Savage. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Russ Weiner isn't homophobic at all. I'll be able to say more in a few days.

Arguendo, let us assume that you are correct, Bil and Russ Weiner is not a homophobic schmuck. That's not entirely the issue. If Savage has an economic interest in the sale of this swill then we are indirectly supporting a bigot if we purchase the product.

I also don't like the way that they handled this. Blaming things on the lawyers is utter nonsense. I will concede to having done it myself on occasion to the amusement of counsel. Lawyers act on the instructions of clients.

I am less than optimistic.

As I stated in the referenced article, Rockstar has taken a page out of the Scientology playbook. They are trying to manage the truth in contrast to managing the situation.

Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro (I assume it is them) are trying to intimidate. I would prefer to be wrong. We'll see.

The bottom line to all of this is whether or not Savage has an economic benefit. "No formal involvement" in the company does not answer that question.

Russell Weiner ran for CA State Assembly in 1998 as a republican. One component of his platform was to end bilingual education. Fortunately he only received 30.5% of the vote.

I do find it odd that he gave Gavin Newsom $25,000 - which Newsom returned...