Kid Rock Won’t Renew License for Detroit Restaurant Amid Protest Over Latest Incendiary Remarks
Kid Rock’s popular comfort food restaurant located inside Detroit’s two-year-old Little Caesar’s Arena will close its doors following the artist’s latest round of controversial statements about famous women. In a statement Wednesday, the arena’s parent company Ilitch Holdings announced that Rock decided against renewing the licensing agreement for his Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit restaurant, which was up for renewal in April.
“We are in the business of amazing and inspiring our fans and guests through an incredible array of world-class sporting and live entertainment events,” the statement reads. “As our venues are open, inviting, inclusive, and respectful to all, we look forward to bringing on an exciting new concept that aligns with our community and company values.”
Rock followed the announcement with a statement thanking fans for their support, while also decrying his apparently faded reputation in his hometown.
“I appreciate all who have patronized our place and still have much love for the City of Detroit and the people / organizations that I have helped there for years, black, white, whatever, but learned long ago, go where you’re celebrated, not tolerated,” he wrote on Facebook. “I guess the millions of dollars I pumped into that town was not enough. I will let the NAN [National Action Network] and others go ahead and take the wheel now. Good luck.”
He added, “I may be guilty of being a loud mouth jerk at times, but trying to label me racist is a joke, and actually only does a disservice to the black community, which I have supported my entire life, by trying to alienate myself and many others.”
In a postscript, Rock calls NAN founder Al Sharpton a “tax evading, race baiting clown” before throwing in a “Trump 2020!!”
A protest organized by the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network was planned outside the restaurant on Wednesday.
Outside the mention of its properties being “open, inviting, inclusive, and respectful to all,” Ilitch Holdings’s statement does not tip its hand at a reason for Rock’s exit from the arena’s restaurant roster. The decision comes a week after the “Bawitdaba” singer/rapper was ushered off the stage at his bar in Nashville while ranting about Oprah Winfrey, Kathie Lee Gifford and Joy Behar.
Rock, 48, was caught on tape saying Winfrey and Behar “can suck a d*ck sideways,” later adding “F— Oprah Winfrey” and “F— Kathie Lee Gifford.” Rock, who was described as “blackout drunk” by one bystander, was eventually physically removed from the stage by a uniformed officer.
He followed the incident with a non-apology on social media, saying his beef with Winfrey was over a booking issue on her show. “I am just saying what a lot of people think,” he said. “Not saying I should be, but sometimes I just do. Oh well. I have a bit mouth and drink too much sometimes, shocker!”
Rock opened the Little Caesar’s Arena with six concerts in 2017. According to The Oakland Press, the Romeo, Michigan native has been shifting his base of operations away from the Detroit area in favor of Nashville.
The contract for Rock’s restaurant comes up for renewal in April, which would be the end of the regular season for one of the arena’s main tenants, the NHL’s Red Wings — who currently sit in last place in the Eastern Conference.
This article originally appeared on Billboard.