The athletics department has disinvited Hoya Madness headliner Fabolous following student concern over the artist’s history of domestic violence.
“After engaging with students, we have cancelled the musical act for 2019 Hoya Madness. We take domestic violence very seriously and were unaware of the charges against the entertainer when he was booked through a third party entity. We are committed to enhanced vetting of future performers and doing all that we can to support a safe and respectful community,” Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed wrote in a press release emailed to the Voice.
John David Jackson, known by his rapper name Fabolous, was arrested for domestic violence in March 2018 and indicted on four felony charges in October of the same year for assaulting Emily Bustamante, his girlfriend and the mother of his two children. Reports say he also threatened to kill both Bustamante and her father.
By pleading guilty, Jackson avoided up to 20 years of jail time. Instead, he must complete a pretrial intervention program and give monthly status updates to the Bergen, New Jersey, County Courts.
Before the announcement to cancel Fabolous’ performance, students called on the university to fire the rapper.
Ollie Hanner (NHS ’22) wrote a blog post urging the university to disinvite him from the event. Hanner published the piece on the H*yas For Choice’s website, claiming that the singer’s actions contradict the university’s values. “Georgetown shouldn’t be hiring him to play a show. Frankly, it’s not a good look for them—it’s a reminder of all the abuse in Georgetown’s past,” they wrote. “In addition, he doesn’t seem to be a glowing beacon of the cura personalis preached to us since freshman orientation.”
Given Fabolous’ history with domestic violence, Hanner argued that the rapper does not deserve to be featured at a spirited, joyous event. “Hoya Madness is supposed to be about celebrating Georgetown’s basketball teams, but students can’t do that when Athletics hires a person of dishonor to be the act of honor,” they wrote.
Pep band president Elise Dumont (COL ’20) also expressed reservations about the choice to invite Fabolous to perform. “The Pep Band is concerned that this performer reflects poorly on the values of the band and the university as a whole,” Dumont wrote in an email to the Voice.
At this point, it is unclear whether there will be a replacement performer.