Bil Browning

Rockstar Energy Drink CFO breaks ties with Savage Productions

Filed By Bil Browning | July 17, 2009 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics
Tags: Janet Weiner, Michael Savage, Rockstar drink, Rockstar Energy Drink, Russ Weiner, Savage Productions, shock jock

After guest blogger Michael Jones posted concerns about Rockstar Energy Drink's possible connections to far-right radio talk show host Michael Savage, Bilerico Project and worked closely with the company over the last few weeks to take concrete steps on addressing LGBT rights. Rockstar is owned by Savage's son Russ Weiner.

rockstar.jpgWe were pleased to facilitate a bold agreement between Rockstar and several LGBT rights organizations. The agreement resulted in significant changes to Rockstar's corporate practices to reflect LGBT-friendly policies and saw more than $100,000 distributed to four LGBT organizations through a multi-year, systemic gift.

Several websites and community members questioned the authenticity of Rockstar's LGBT-friendly policies and gifts since Savage's wife, Janet Weiner, was the CFO for both Rockstar and Savage Productions. The beverage company quietly took another step forward recently that wasn't announced in a press release.

Janet Weiner quit her job at Savage Productions as an apparent statement of solidarity with equality advocates.

While we were talking to Rockstar about their corporate policies and the apparent ties to Michael Savage, it was made clear time and time again that the company did not want to be associated with Savage's repugnant radio show or production company. The focus has mostly been on Russ and Janet Weiner because they're Michael Savage's kin. Families tend to have differing opinions on social issues though - and Savage's family is apparently no exception.

No one talking to the beverage maker from Bilerico or asked Janet Weiner to quit her job at either company. A woman should never be defined as incapable of thinking for herself or as a simple extension of her husband; she is a person and not just Michael Savage's wife. Plenty of people make poor relationship choices but they're not considered unemployable; she deserves the same respect.

Company spokesman Tony Guilfoyle confirmed for me that Janet Weiner "is no longer a director or in anyway professionally associated with her husband's company Savage productions." Guilfoyle confirmed that she stepped down of her own accord, but would not comment on the Weiners' personal lives. Janet Weiner could not be reached for comment.

Russ Weiner unequivocally stated his support of the LGBT community in the joint statement last week. "Some have erroneously associated our company with offensive language directed at LGBT people, specifically statements coming from Michael Savage, who is not and has never been a shareholder or officer of ROCKSTAR Energy Drink," he said. "On behalf of our company and directors, including myself and CFO Janet Weiner, I would like to take this opportunity to disavow any offensive statements directed toward LGBT people, including statements from Michael Savage."

With both Janet and Russ Weiner specifically condemning Savage's hate speech and Janet quitting the entertainment company, will Savage be tempering his foul mouth? I doubt it. (This is the guy who's been banned from the United Kingdom for the sheer amount of racist, xenophobic and homophobic pollution he spews into the air waves.) Life is rarely like a Disney movie where the grouchy curmudgeon turns a new leaf, smiles a lot and gives away candy to every passing child.

Savage has ignored the damage to his reputation, the public shaming by media watchdog groups, and the general loss of esteem by his peers. As his family members "come out" as pro-gay allies, I wonder if he'll finally realize the damage he's done to his own family. His son's successful company's reputation was damaged by his familial tie; his wife has publicly distanced herself from his hate speech and made clear her commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.

Michael Savage's hate speech and invectives are indefensible. If his career is a chess game, the King stands alone now and the Queen just put him in check.

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Good on them. I'm ending my boycott of Rockstar over this.

But let me get this clear: Janet Weiner is Michael Savageweiner's wife, yes?

Yes, Janet Weiner is Michael Savage's wife. Savage's real name is Michael Weiner.

WillardLee | July 17, 2009 3:50 PM

Kudos to Rockstar! Bill you are correct, families do have varying opinions on social issues. Their press release was a bold statement. Must not be easy to disavow from one's own blood in a public forum. However, actions speak louder than words. Hats off to Janet. This company and these people have done the right thing.

What on Earth makes you think that Michael Savage actually believes any of the bigotry he excretes?

It's business. He's a professional Shock-Jock. Pandering to the far-right makes him money. As to what his personal views are, I have no idea.

"It's strictly business" in the Mafia sense.

Oh good job all. Will thank Michael J too.

Wow wife and Mom. and CFO three hard jobs, I know.

What a load of BS.

They did NOT voice "support" for the LGBT community nor did they "condemn" Savage's comments.

They gave money (probably much less than whatever losses from a boycott) and "disavowed" the comments.

BOTH Russ Weiner and Janet Weiner have made public comments along the same bigoted lines as Savage.

Why does everything come down to money instead of what's right?

Rockstar supports their family. their newly found "diversity" is another cost of doing business to them. period.

Actually, they have voiced support of the LGBT community. It was in last week's press release...

And comments by Russ and Janet? I think the worst out there is Russ stupidly saying, "Who's straight and proud?" No one involved with this ever found anything Janet said that was anti-gay. She did donate to the "No on 8" campaign tho...

As for the money issue and "it's costing them," it's actually not. As Michelangelo Signorile said on his show, "This has been the most lowkey boycott that no one knows about."

And - according to your logic - you'd rather someone be branded a bad person because of something their father/husband said - even the Bible says that the sins of the father shouldn't be visited upon the son; that wisdom has been around since ancient times. It seems rather unfair.

Plus, even if someone was a virulent homophobe, does that mean they can't change? Look at Senator Byrd; the guy was a KKK member and is now one of the LGBT community's largest supporters in Congress. Should we calling him names instead of lauding him for the help he's given our movement?

I understand your anger at anti-gay people and the damage they do. Michael Savage is a target for it - and deservedly so. But his kid? His wife? Especially when they don't feel the same way he does? That goes too far.

For me and many others it is far too little, far too late. While I'm glad for the progress, as the beverage company repeatedly stated before it became too controversial, Michael Savage Wiener IS responsible for its creation, especially for the products' composition, and for many other parts of the company's formation.

I believe that family business is suffering and I am very happy about it. When it goes under and is no more, and the son starts another business unrelated to RockStar, then I won't boycott his products. RockStar is permanently ruined, and should just die.

Like Coors they are still owned by an ultra right wing family.

I'm so tired of LGBT/T causes giving it up to people who support anti LGBT/T bigotry in exchange for what amounts to chump change.

What are we anyway? We do this and we disgrace the entire idea of being a real liberation movement.

The answer is that what was once a movement by the people has been coporatized into being a bunch of prostitutes who beg for money, throw fund raisers poor LGBT/T people are excluded from and then piss the money away on parting with the rest of the K Streeters.

Would Queer Nation, Act Up, Gay Liberation Front, Harry Hay, Morris Kight or anyone in the recent book "Smash the Church, Smash the State" take their bribe? Or would the entire community of the 1970s get behind boycotting this product?

As the unlucky gay guy who closed the final door on the last meeting of Queer Nation-San Diego, I can assure you that EXACTLY like Coors, this co-opting with cash and the start of a bit of mealy-mouthed "progress" -- for any gay workers who have chosen to stay working for a company with a Wiener (or Coors) signature on their paycheck -- is EXACTLY what it smells like: self-interested bribery by the Wieners.

No gay group should take their money. We are not a religion, where you come and confess your "sins" and they are washed away. Or where that "sins of the fathers" crap even has any bearing whatsoever. The paper-thin, brand-new distance between Michael Savage Wiener and the public statements and commercial financial investments of his son and wife mean zero. "I put the house in my wife's name to save on our taxes." Think the IRS would be fooled if you were still living in the house?

Coors paid GOPher LINO (Lesbian In Name Only) Mary Cheney to undermine and destroy the Coors boycott. She did it, only for money. Large volumes of important Coors money still go to fight directly against us Queers. Tiny amounts of investment capital are used to co-opt gays effectively, through a microscopic employees group and sponsorship of gay events.

Coors still sucks just as badly, Coors is still just as deserving of a gay boycott, and those who take Coors money and sell Coors products should still be pointed out and diminished for doing it.

Same thing goes for the ONGOING BOYCOTT of ALL MICHAEL SAVAGE WIENER PRODUCTS, INCLUDING HIS SON'S PRODUCTS, because it is a Wiener family business which started with ideas and information advertised and bragged about early on as coming from things the son learned from Michael Savage Wiener. Just because on the surface the strings to Michael Savage Wiener have just this moment been cut, this doesn't mean anything, because the reality is, it's about much more than just bookkeeping and accounts receivable.

I won't spend a cent on a product that even MIGHT end up in Michael Savage Wiener's pocket. It's just too easy to buy something other than an unproven company like RockStar. What will you do when his true colors come out down the line and he starts using all the money you gave him to fight against YOU and me and all of us? Say oooops! Sorry....

Couldn't agree more with Suzan! We have accepted these measly pittances from these otherwise unrepentant homophobes who know full well we can be bought off quite easily!

Ask yourself: would Harvey Milk put up with this BS? I sincerely doubt it!

Nothing like turning this into yet another purity test, eh? They're not pure enough, so let's not take what we can use - let's either change them completely for our ends or run them down, right?

Lots of ignorant children around here. Bil's got the right idea.

Come on, please! This headline is VERY misleading!

"Rockstar Energy Drink CFO breaks ties with Savage Productions"

"RockStar: Michael Savage Wiener's son's CFO mother breaks ties with father's bigoted company but they still sleep together every night"

Why is it that when anyone disagrees with Bil they always go after the headline?

She broke her ties with Savage Productions. Honestly, I didn't think we'd come to a place where queers would attempt to discredit and judge others based on who they sleep with, but our population has a way of surprising me every day.

Fine. Pick nits. Critiquing the headline was just a shortcut. I didn't think I needed to spell it out in detail.

Perhaps I should have said this entire story and turn of events are as misleading as the headline, because they paint the company's Chief Financial Officer (CFO, Michael Savage Wiener's wife and the mother of Russ Wiener); her husband, Michael Wiener Savage (husband of the CFO of RockStar, father of the owner of RockStar, racist anti-gay radio pig), and their son, Russ Wiener (owner of RockStar), as corporate entities (or not, in the case of Michael Savage Wiener) who are now magically unrelated (not forever mutually profitable) with the wave of some cash.

All of it -- the story, headline and co-option of those gays who have decided to align themselves with RockStar, lauds the so-called repudiation of the father by the mother for the son. It's a crock. They will have a nice giggle over how easy it was to buy off the gays as they pass the turkey on Thanksgiving.

This is not good journalism. This is not even good advocacy. This is not a solution to the profiteering of the entire Savage family from the anti-gay ranting of Michael Wiener Savage; including the husband/father, the wife/mother and the son/RockStar owner.

Collecting a tiny payoff and a press release are not solutions to the fact that the profits from the sales of RockStar products also support Michael Savage Wiener, the pig, who sleeps with the CFO every night and gets untold "gifts" from his son, paid for by the profits from RockStar products.

The profits of Michael Savage Wiener do not go to his son in any way? Those profits given to his son do not help finance RockStar products? The profits of the CFO (Michael Savage Wiener's wife and RockStar's Russ Wiener's mother) which she gets from being married to Michael Savage Wiener do not go to her son Russ in any way and are not re-invested in their mutual business RockStar?

As you can see, my "headline" comment really was intended to be shorthand for all of this. Was your "headline" comment intended to save you from any sort of actual substantive response? You are so eager to defend the Savage Wieners that you took the time to post against other gay people on their behalf, so I have to ask.

I also forgot to mention that when the few gay people who appointed themselves negotiators between the entire Queer world and the Savage Wieners and the RockStar company accepted this co-opting bribe and illusion of separation between the mother CFO, the son owner, and the husband/father pig, they selfishly and completely abandoned all of the others who are daily attacked by this jackass Michael Savage Wiener, who certainly and unavoidably profits from his son's and wife's beverage business; like the kids with autism whom he slurs, and the races he falsely declares his white, English-speaking supremacy to.

Joshua Verbeke | July 19, 2009 2:57 PM

Well done, Bil and friends. For all those who do not know, there's only one "L" in Bil

RicharrdS | July 19, 2009 3:16 PM

I will no longer boycott drinking Rockstar, altho i've never tried it in the first place...aqnd probably won't. What's really frightening is the fact that Michael Wiener still has an apparently big enough following to keep him on the air...... how sad!

Yeah RIght | July 20, 2009 11:41 AM

How much are you getting from the Weiners for pimping Rockstar,Bil Browning?

There are lots of energy drinks my gay brethern. You don't have to make Russ any richer so that when his dad visits he can basque in luxery by Russ's pool.

Make no mistake about it, when you go after Michael Savage he pulls out the big guns and scares the $hit out of the "offender". Bil is in self protection mode now because he is Savage's sights and I understand this. He has to grab his anckles to keep Mike Savage from sueing him IHMO.

This is unreal. Al Capone will be proud of you guys. This is extortion.

Being a son and wife of anyone is now considered a crime? They person who wrote this article said “Plenty of people make poor relationship choices, WHAT? Do you know they guy have you sat with him for dinner? You assume that because of his ideas his wife who fell in love with him 30-40 years ago made a wrong decision?

So if I take your own line of thinking let me ask you this - when a conservative parant finds that his child is gay, he needs to top loving him/her and abandon him/her? I mean come-on they are gay, they not within the same line of thinking as a conservative, right?

You call yourself progressive and you think you are the next big thing, but you guys are making the same mistakes that are being done towards the gay community.

How anyone dares to say that a wife made the wrong decision.

And don't get me started on your extortion of ROCKSTAR for money ad “support” why? Because they are kin to Michael Savage? So what, they have their business and their work place and it has nothing to do with their family member line of thinking.

If ROCKSTAR don't hire or discriminate against gay people, sue them and do the right thing, but just because if their family ties?

Those acts make me sick, I have nothing against the gay community but I do have the limit on how much people can push and push for their agendas and at what cost.

Thank you Jacob for that unlettered rant.

Thank you Jacob for that unlettered rant.

Hi Jomama

Sorry for being an immigrant from Israel, my English is not good as yours. But this is again showing the arrogance you have on people.

Do u feel that u have to be so judgmental of others?

Now that’s progressive.

CigarSmoker | July 31, 2009 9:10 PM

The LGBT "community" are a bunch of freaks, why would Rockstar want to cater to those degenerates. I wont ever drink Rockstar again, or any unethical company.

Funny that I should find my way to this piece today -- the same day I ran across this clip from the Michael Savage Show of 9/11/01, in which he and son Russell discuss how the disgusting degenerate libs are RESPONSIBLE for the attacks.

Funny that I should find my way to this piece today -- the same day I ran across this clip from the Michael Savage Show of 9/11/01, in which he and son Russell discuss how the disgusting degenerate libs are RESPONSIBLE for the attacks.

what a lot of you are forgetting is that rusty savage was a co-founder of the paul revere society with his father (he ran for public office on that platform) and that michael savage helped create the formula for rockstar (he and janet are former herbologists)and provided the seed money for the company (something that he himself has stated several times on hus radio show)... these are very strong ties that can't be ignored or washed away by a measly $100,000 donation.

as far as janet weiner stepping down as cfo of both rockstar and savage productions, i think it's a bit of too little, too late. all it takes is just a few quick google searches to dig up the close-knit ties the savage family has, business and politics-wise. there was a youtube video of russell introducing michael savage before an audience, so try telling me that he doesn't side with him politically...

this is a major case of ass-covering if i've ever seen it. they know the gay club market is lucrative and that they're losing out on a large market share by turning the glbt away...

let's see "rusty" put up a million dollars and janet divorce michael weiner... then i'll believe them... until then...