The Ohio University Programming Council and the Black Student Cultural Programming Board decided to move forward with their annual Throwback concert featuring Sean Kingston despite rape allegations.
The concert would be paid for regardless because of the contract, but “both organizations along with (their) advisors have not taken this topic lightly,” UPC’s incoming President Jen Sroka said in a statement on behalf of both organizations.
“We understand that this might not be a safe space for all Ohio University members and community members, and are working with campus partners to provide alternative programming for those members of our community that might feel unsafe at the #TBT concert,” Sroka said in the statement. “In the future, we will do deeper review of the artists to ensure that our programs are a safe space for all of our community.”
University spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said OU is leaving the decision to the organizations.
“This event is being hosted by University Program Council (UPC) and Black Student Cultural Programming Board (BSCPB),“ Leatherwood said in an email. “Those groups would determine the status of the concert.”
About a week after Kingston was announced as the headliner for the April 24 concert, rape allegations resurfaced and other college campuses canceled their scheduled performances.
Kingston was accused of an alleged gang-rape in 2010. The charges were dropped that year, and the survivors sued in 2013 for $5 million. At the time, Kingston filed a statement that it was “consensual.” The University of Connecticut canceled the performance one week ago, and Fordham University in New York is urging its administrators to cancel, as well.
Kingston opened for Wiz Khalifa in The Convo in 2012, two years after the initial allegations.
The Post has reached out to the university for comment. This is a developing story, and more information will follow.