Time flies when you’re dressing up like a clown and rapping about magnets. Twenty years ago today, Insane Clown Posse were embroiled in their first major controversy when their fourth album, The Great Milenko, was pulled from shelves mere hours after its release. Initially released by the Disney-owned Hollywood Records, the record was pulled and the group dropped from the label’s roster after the Southern Baptist Church called for a boycott of Disney due to its “anti-family” products and policies, which also included films with sex and violence and the Ellen DeGeneres sitcom Ellen.
“I think Disney is bowing to pressure from the Southern Baptists,” Alex Abbiss, ICP’s manager, told The Chicago Tribune at the time. “All of a sudden they had a change in taking the moral high ground. They pulled the record. They canceled our 25-city tour.” Disney execs, however, denied that the boycott motivated their decision to pull the record, claiming that its release was an oversight by its review board from the beginning: “When the lyrics of the Insane Clown Posse album were brought to the attention of senior management, the decision was made that they were inappropriate for a product released under any label of our company,” Hollywood Records said in a statement. “Unfortunately, our internal review process did not initially flag the album and allowed it to proceed.”
ICP went on to sign a new contract with Island/PolyGram Records and release the album as intended a couple of months later. A 2011 report by the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center classified fans of Insane Clown Posse, aka juggalos, as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.”