Infamous ‘80s and ‘90s nightlife promoter Michael Alig — who pled guilty to manslaughter after killing a fellow "club kid" — is apparently not being broadly welcomed back into the nightlife world. Page Six reports that Alig’s return to the scene as a consultant at The Rumpus Room has faced a round of backlash and even a death threat. He and the club were particularly criticized for a Monday night party celebrating the end of Alig’s sentence, which comes after 17 years in prison and a two-year parole for killing Andre "Angel" Melendez. The event says that Alig has "a lot — but not too much — pent up energy" from time spent behind bars, and that the party’s when "the safety valve is going to be let wide open to try and burn some of it off."
People were not thrilled about it. "This is disgusting," one commenter wrote. "Why are we celebrating a murderer?" Others argued that while Alig can be forgiven, throwing a party in his name is "disturbing," "tacky," and "in very bad taste." In response to the backlash, Alig changed the event so that half of his paycheck would be donated to the Gateway Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, a callback to his own drug use. He tells Page Six that he planned the event quickly and didn’t realize that people would react like they did. "It looked like we were being very [offhand] about it and forgetting about the crime, basically," he says.
Even so, outcry over the party was not unanimous. The controversial figure also had plenty of supporters, who posted selfies and videos from the party, congratulated Alig on his return, and reminded denouncers that Alig was convicted of manslaughter and not homicide. Regardless, Alig wrote on his party’s Facebook that he understands the critiques and plans to do more to try and raise awareness about people suffering with drug addition. "I’m not under any delusions that I will change anyone’s opinion about me," he says.