Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., is confronting Eventbrite for its “liberal-progressive agenda to silence and unpublish events that express conservative viewpoints,” after the event management company pulled tickets to a Riley Gaines speaking tour it claimed did not align with its community guidelines.
In a letter directed to Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz Friday, Schmitt questioned the ticket-selling platform’s reasoning for removing Gaines’ event from its website.
Schmitt also accused the platform of being hypocritical in its claim Gaines’ event violated “community guidelines and terms of service,” while it continued to promote anti-Israel protests across the country.
“It is worth noting that while this type of content is being removed from your platform, other events featuring individuals who have expressed deeply antisemitic views comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and others who are prominent supporters of the BDS movement against Israel are allowed to host or speak at events listed on Eventbrite,” the Republican senator wrote.
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While Gaines’ event was removed from Eventbrite, ticket sales for anti-Israel protests remain active, such as “Tempest NYC,” an upcoming event that calls to “Stop the Genocide! Free Palestine!”
In seeking further information on the process of removing an event, Schmitt demanded Eventbrite provide “a complete list of events that Eventbrite has unpublished for violation of its terms of service and reasoning for unpublishing those events.”
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The senator also requested “a complete list of organizations who have hosted an event on Eventbrite’s platform.”
Schmitt questioned whether the event management website gives the public the ability to flag events and whether Eventbrite takes those complaints into consideration when choosing to remove events.
Schmitt said “one’s right to free speech must be protected.”
“The free exchange of ideas is the lifeblood of our Constitutional Republic, and one’s right to free speech must be protected,” the Republican senator said. “Whether one disagrees with events listed on your platform or the views of an individual hosting an event on your platform, the ability for Americans — particularly on college campuses — to engage in open dialogue about the issues facing the world today is vital.
“Eventbrite appears to be selectively applying or hiding behind its community guidelines and terms of service to promote a liberal-progressive agenda to silence and unpublish events that express conservative viewpoints that you may disagree with.”
Schmitt echoed criticism by GOP Texas lawmaker Ted Cruz, who posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Americans need to stop giving money to woke corporations that hate them. @eventbrite’s idiotic policies allow pro-Hamas rallies but ban people who hold the radical belief that women exist. They should get the FULL Bud Light treatment.”
When Gaines headlined her tour at Penn State earlier this month, it ended in two arrests after protests broke out between attendees and one heckler flipped a table.
Gaines’ first stop for her November college tour advocating for women’s rights in sports is scheduled for the University of California, Davis. Information about the “Protecting Women’s Sports with Riley Gaines” event was listed on Eventbrite until being pulled Tuesday.
“By allowing pro-terrorist and antisemitic groups to keep their scheduled events on the Eventbrite platform, but canceling events discussing the importance of ensuring the safety, fairness and equal opportunities for women, Eventbrite has sent a clear message to all. Eventbrite is the epitome of organizations taking a stand against women and our basic human rights,” Gaines told Fox News Digital after finding out about the event removal.
Gaines previously said in a statement sent to Fox News Digital, “If being pro-woman in woman’s sports is deemed anti-trans, then being pro-trans in woman’s sports is inherently anti-woman. And that is the stand Eventbrite has taken. The event at UC Davis is still going to take place next month. My speech will not be stifled.”
According to Eventbrite Trust & Safety, the event violated the company’s “community guidelines and terms of service.”
“We have determined that your event is not permitted on the Eventbrite marketplace as it violates our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, with which all users agree to comply,” Eventbrite wrote.
“Specifically, we do not allow content or events that — through on- or off-platform activity — discriminate against, harass, disparage, threaten, incite violence against, or otherwise target individuals or groups based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, age, or disability.
“As a result, your event has been unpublished. Please be aware that severe or repeated violations of our guidelines may result in the suspension or termination of your Eventbrite account.”
Eventbrite did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment before this story was published.
Fox News’ Chantz Martin contributed to this report.
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