Protest rises against DJ Hunter Moore's booking for Lexington New Year's Eve party

kward1@herald-leader.comDecember 7, 2013 

Plans to bring a controversial disc jockey to a Lexington bar for a New Year's Eve party are creating a social media backlash.

Hunter Moore, who formerly ran a "revenge porn" website where people could post nude photographs of other people without their consent, is scheduled to be a DJ at Art Bar, 815 Euclid Avenue, on Dec. 31.

A Facebook page opposing Moore's appearance was created Thursday. By Saturday night, the page, "No More Moore in Lexington," had more than 1,700 "likes."

Dozens of reviews, mostly in opposition to the event, had been posted on Art Bar's Facebook page.

Moore founded the website IsAnyoneUp.com. The site, which was shut down after Moore sold it to an anti-bullying website last year, allowed people to submit photos of others in compromising positions without their permission.

Critics called it a "revenge porn" site, referring to the phenomenon of people sharing intimate photos and videos of former lovers online to humiliate them.

Rolling Stone magazine said in an October 2012 article that Moore verified that people in the images were 18 or older, then posted the photographs along with information identifying the person.

Caleb Ritchie of Lexington said he set up the Facebook page opposing the event at Art Bar after recently learning who Moore is.

He has also organized a meeting about the topic scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at Common Grounds.

"The hope is that Art Bar cancels," Ritchie said Saturday. He said he also hopes to start a broader discussion about the issues surrounding websites like IsAnyoneUp.

Art Bar's management provided a statement Saturday night saying that the bar "works with several event promotion companies who rent out the venue and book shows, artists, bands, touring DJs, etc. Art Bar does not book any of the performers." The statement said that "previous management that is no longer with Art Bar signed the contract" to rent out the bar on New Year's Eve but that the bar "is still in a legally binding contract for the NYE venue rental."

Event promotions company A-Team Social said in a Facebook message Saturday that it was responsible for bringing Moore to Art Bar as a DJ for an Oct. 24 Halloween party and that that event was a success. A-Team also said its decision to book Moore for the New Year's Eve party should not be taken as an endorsement of things he's done in the past. They suggested that people who oppose the event could find more productive activities than protesting.

The ad for the party says attendees must be 18 or older to enter and 21 or older to drink.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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