'America's Got Talent' alum loses gig on ZZ Top guitarist's tour after posing in MAGA hat, holding Chick-fil-A
“America’s Got Talent” alum Benton Blount abruptly lost his opening-act gig on ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons' concert tour after his pro-Trump Facebook post got him temporarily banned from the social media website.
Blount was four shows into the seven-show slot when he learned he was kicked off the tour, South Carolina’s Greenville News reported.
The post showed Blount wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and an “I Voted” sticker on Election Day while holding a Chick-Fil-A sandwich and drink. The photo carried the caption, "Someone reading this just got offended multiple times. My work here is done! #Vote."
“Drove down here (Atlanta) from Greenville, South Carolina to the venue. I get a call from my friend from California who informs me that not only have I been banned from Facebook but as a result from being banned from Facebook I was pulled off of the Billy Gibbons tour, effectively immediately,” Blount said in a Facebook Live video.
“But suppression of Conservative opinion doesn’t happen and it doesn’t effect (sic) your career!,” he posted.
Blount told the Greenville News on Thursday that he never spoke with Gibbons personally and that he often shares politically charged themes and pokes fun at politics on his podcast page.
Representatives for Gibbons contacted by the State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., did not return requests for comment.
No reason was given for Blount's removal from the tour, only that the post “did not meet community standards,” Blount said.
His Facebook page shows several posts in support of President Trump and Republicans and others bashing Democrats and liberals.
“I thought that it would be OK for me to post that I voted. I thought that it would be OK for me to say who I supported,” Blount said. “I had a MAGA hat on. For that reason, and that reason alone ... my career is on hold for the week.”
“I thought that it would be OK for me to post that I voted. I thought that it would be OK for me to say who I supported. I had a MAGA hat on. For that reason, and that reason alone ... my career is on hold for the week.”
He vowed that the incident won’t curb him from speaking his mind.
“As cool as this tour is, I’m not going to start not posting a picture of me voting because somebody might realize I voted for somebody they don’t like,” he said on Facebook.
Blount was featured in 2015 as a contestant on “America’s Got Talent,” which was won by ventriloquist Paul Zerdin.
The exposure revived his stalling country music career after his label, Golden Music Nashville, folded in 2010.