Alison Fensterstock has written an insightful and impressive analysis of one hard-working performer’s legal tangle and how giggers interactions with authority often end up badly for the creative community. How many people were sorry they accepted aid after Katrina or BP later on when they found themselves mired in red tape over it? In this case, as Fensterstock points out, the ebb and flow of funds when a performer begins to hit their moment can be confusing and disorienting and can result in a trip to the courthouse. Why would the authorities feel the need to do any more than fine Freedia for a lack of good accounting? Why require further punishment? One might think that those in authority want to find ways to punish him and others like him who won’t just go put on the white shirt and black pants and bus that table.
Cashauna Hill, the executive director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Center, cautioned that she couldn’t speak directly to the rapper’s case. But “especially for a cash-based economy, the requirement to predict income is incredibly difficult,” she said. “Performers don’t have that kind of set, consistent clear structure.”
Update: Big Freedia gets probation