This is not the kind of “Surfin’ Safari” that Brian Wilson would endorse.
On Tuesday, the founding member of the Beach Boys voiced his opposition to the group’s scheduled performance at a convention for Safari Club International in Reno, Nev. The controversial organization advocates for “the right to hunt” and has long been criticized for endorsing “trophy hunting,” the killing of endangered species and other animals for sport.
On social media, Wilson linked to a Change.org petition urging Beach Boys manager Elliott Lott to cancel the performance. As of this writing, the petition has accrued more than 100,000 signatures.
“This organization supports trophy hunting, which both Al [Jardine] and I are emphatically opposed to,” Wilson wrote on Facebook and Twitter. “There’s nothing we can do personally to stop the show, so please join us in signing the petition.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice if all the Beach Boys, Stayed away from those who kill for fun?” the petition reads, pledging that signers will stop buying the band’s music, merchandise, and concert tickets “until the Beach Boys withdraw from the SCI Convention and publicly state their opposition to this sick ‘sport’ of killing animals for ‘fun’.”
Mike Love, another Beach Boys founding member and the group’s current lead singer, responded to the criticisms in a statement. “We look forward to a night of great music in Reno, and, as always, support freedom of thought and expression as a fundamental tenet of our rights as Americans,” Love said.
The SCI convention will take place Feb. 5-8, with Donald Trump Jr. reportedly scheduled to attend and speak. The president’s son is known as an avid hunter, and has repeatedly taken photos posing with kills. A hunting trip with Trump in Alaska will also be auctioned off at the convention, along with other big game hunts and such items as chandeliers made from deer antlers.