John Hinckley Jr.'s sold-out Brooklyn music concert was canceled by the venue set to host him.
Hinckley will no longer perform at the Market Hotel, according to a statement on Instagram, which stated it was not worth the "gamble" of hosting the 67-year-old, who in 1981 shot President Ronald Reagan and was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
"After a lot of serious consideration, we are canceling the scheduled event at Market Hotel with John Hinckley," the statement read. "There was a time when a place could host a thing like this, maybe a little offensive, and the reaction would be, It's just a guy playing a show, who does it hurt — it's a free country. We aren't living in that kind of free country anymore, for better or for worse."
The Market Hotel’s statement goes on to note that outrage and concern around the event were reactions to the "message it sends," and while it maintained the belief that ex-convicts "can recover, and that we should want them to maintain hope that they can better themselves and earn a chance to fully rejoin society," the booking has met too negatively by particular parties.
"It is not worth a gamble on the safety of our vulnerable communities to give a guy a microphone and a paycheck from his art who hasn't had to earn it, who we don't care about on an artistic level, and who upsets people in a dangerously radicalized, reactionary climate," the statement said.
In response to the venue's decision, Hinckley told The New York Times that he was disappointed by the cancellation, although he said he understood the venue's concerns about safety.
"I watch the news like everybody else — we’re living in very, very scary times, to be honest," he said. "I would have only gone on with the show if I was going to feel safe at the show and feel that the audience was going to be safe."
Hinckley's failed assassination attempt was to impress actor Jodie Foster, who according to reports he was obsessed with, and while the outcome was not what he had intended, the shooting left Reagan press secretary James Brady paralyzed, and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty injured, according to Mediaite.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reasons of insanity and spent 35 years in a psychiatric hospital. According to the Daily Mail, he was later diagnosed with narcissistic and schizoid personality disorders. Hinckley was released from the hospital in 2016 and his restrictions were lessened, with all restrictions to be relieved Wednesday.
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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