Stop Murder Music

Examiner: Eminem makes censorship deal with UK gay-rights organization

Several activist groups, including Outrage! Rights group, had planned to protest his scheduled performance in Britain in the summer 2010, as they had previously in 2001.

According to the UK’s Evening Standard, in an attempt to keep controversy to a minimum, Eminem has agreed to refrain from using derogatory remarks toward the gay community. Outrage! spokesman David Allison has agreed not to protest the event, and says Eminem is free to speak his mind as long as the words do not turn violent. He told the Evening Standard, “We have a condition that he does not use lyrics that encourage or incite hatred against gay people. He is free to express his views on gay people, as long as he stays off the violence and hatred. He has got plenty of other lyrics to choose from. In recent years he has become quite well-behaved.”

http://www.examiner.com/x-33302-Tucson-LGBT-Arts-Examiner~y2009m12d27-UK-gayrights-organization-makes-censorship-deal-with-Eminem

See also:

http://www.denverpost.com/celebritybuzz/ci_14064716

http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2009/12/28/Eminem_Censors_Self_to_Keep_Away_Protesters/

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/printArticle.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=334285&version=1&template_id=38&parent_id=20

Daily Mail: Eminem to play first gig for five years in the UK after agreeing to drop homophobic lyrics

OutRage! spokesman David Allison said: “We have a condition that he does not use lyrics that encourage or incite hatred against gay people.

“He is free to express his views on gay people, as long as he stays off the violence and hatred. He has got plenty of other lyrics to choose from. In recent years he has become quite well-behaved.

“I think he realises singing songs advocating hate and violence just won’t wash any more. Society’s moved on in the last 10 years.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1238269/Eminem-play-gig-years-UK-agreeing-drop-homophobic-lyrics.html#ixzz0oCTX6mgE

Evening Standard: Eminem returns to Britain with a pledge to drop his anti-gay lyrics

The last time Eminem toured the country in 2001, gay rights group OutRage! protested outside his shows, saying his lyrics were homophobic.

OutRage! spokesman David Allison said: “We have a condition that he does not use lyrics that encourage or incite hatred against gay people.

“He is free to express his views on gay people, as long as he stays off the violence and hatred. He has got plenty of other lyrics to choose from. In recent years he has become quite well-behaved.

“I think he realises singing songs advocating hate and violence just won’t wash any more. Society’s moved on in the last 10 years.”

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23788052-eminem-returns-to-britain-with-a-pledge-to-drop-his-anti-gay-lyrics.do

PinkNews: Eminem drops anti-gay lyrics for UK gig

OutRage! spokesman David Allison said: “We have a condition that he does not use lyrics that encourage or incite hatred against gay people.

“He is free to express his views on gay people, as long as he stays off the violence and hatred. He has got plenty of other lyrics to choose from. In recent years he has become quite well-behaved.”

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/12/24/eminem-drops-anti-gay-lyrics-for-uk-gig/

Pink Paper: Pepsi’s public regret over Beenie Man sponsorship

Peter Tatchell of London LGBT rights group OutRage! said: “We want to thank GLAAD and Change.org for their swift and effective lobbying of PepsiCo. Their efforts got a positive result. PepisiCo will be more careful in future.”

Earlier, David Allison of OutRage! wrote to PepsiCo: “We are shocked to learn that not only are you sponsoring the appearance of Beenie Man, the Jamaican dancehall music performer, but compounding the offence by sponsoring him in Uganda…Uganda’s government is currently proposing legislation calling for the imprisonment and execution of gay people.

“Backing a concert that includes a notorious homophobe in a country launching draconian legislation against people simply because of their sexual orientation is a singularly inept, not to say immoral….We ask that you withdraw your sponsorship and re-affirm your support for human rights,” wrote Mr Allison.

http://news.pinkpaper.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=2118

See also:

http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/Interact/Blogs-articleid-6190-sectionid-637.html

Jamaica – homophobia, murder music and free speech

Is Jamaica is the most homophobic country in the world? Does reggae / dancehall “murder music” contribute to anti-gay violence? Stop Murder Music campaigners, Dennis Carney of the Black Gay Men’s Advisory Group, and Brett Lock of the gay human rights group OutRage!, discuss with Peter Tatchell. Watch here:

http://doughty.gdbtv.com/player.php?h=ea549f923a51daa4d050241c6b6d6c94

Peter Tatchell writes:

Eight leading Jamaican reggae /dancehall stars, including Buju Banton and Beenie Man, have sung songs openly advocating, encouraging and glorifying the murder of queers.

See their homophobic “murder music” lyrics here:

http://www.petertatchell.net/popmusic/Dancehall-Dossier-FINAL.pdf

Are these artists merely reflecting homophobia or helping create it?

Many gay and straight Jamaicans argue that lyrics urging the killing of queers may not create homophobia but they certainly help legitimate and encourage it. When homophobic violence is extolled by big-name reggae super stars it fuels and reinforces anti-gay hatred. It encourages some young men to believe that it is cool and acceptable to bash lesbian and gay people.

These murder music lyrics stir up homophobic hatred and violence, in the same way that the BNP’s racist incitements stir up racial hatred and violence.

Can it ever be acceptable or legitimate to subject other people to violent threats and intimidation? Are homophobic incitements any less worthy of condemnation than racist ones?

Critics of the Stop Murder Music campaign claim it is an attack on freedom of expression. They protest: what about free speech? But since when has free speech included the right to incite the murder of other human beings?

Do the defenders of homophobic murder music also defend the right of white racists to incite the murder of black people? No, of course, they don’t. They rightly condemn even the slightest prejudice against the black community. So why the double standards when it comes to homophobic bigotry?

The murder music singers are not the only culprits. The Jamaican government and police are notorious for their inaction against homophobic violence. According to Jamaican law, inciting violence and murder is a criminal offence. Why aren’t these artists being prosecuted?

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch report that homophobic violence is a major problem in Jamaica. This is corroborated by Jamaican human rights groups such as Jamaicans for Justice, Families Against State Terrorism, Jamaica AIDS Support, and the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights.

All these respected bodies accuse the Jamaican government and police of colluding with queer-bashing attacks, and of failing to protect the gay victims of mob violence.

Ending murder music will not, of itself, end anti-gay violence. But it can contribute to deescalating the culture of homophobia that is terrorising lesbian and gay Jamaicans and wrecking their lives.

To view the programme, click on this link:

http://doughty.gdbtv.com/player.php?h=ea549f923a51daa4d050241c6b6d6c94

Note:

Talking With Tatchell is broadcast every Friday night at 8.30pm on the internet TV channel, www.18doughtystreet.com

Previous programmes are permanently archived. Type “Tatchell” into the Search facility to access all past editions of Talking With Tatchell.

Jamaica – homophobia, murder music and free speech

Is Jamaica is the most homophobic country in the world? Does reggae/dancehall “murder music” contribute to anti-gay violence? Stop Murder Music campaigners, Dennis Carney of the Black Gay Men’s Advisory Group, and Brett Lock of the gay human rights group OutRage!, discuss with Peter Tatchell.

Reggae stars renounce homophobia

Beenie Man, Sizzla & Capleton sign deal

Historic agreement to stop “murder music”

London – 13 June 2007

Three of the world’s top reggae / dancehall singers have renounced homophobia and condemned violence against lesbians and gay men.

Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton had previously released anti-gay hate songs, including incitements to murder lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

They have now signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act (copy below), in a deal brokered with top reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists.

The agreement follows the three-year-long Stop Murder Music campaign, which resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of the singers’ concerts and sponsorship deals, causing them income losses estimated in excess of five million dollars.

“The Reggae Compassionate Act is a big breakthrough,” said Peter Tatchell, of the British gay human rights group OutRage!. Mr Tatchell is coordinator of the worldwide Stop Murder Music campaign. He helped negotiate the deal with the three singers.

“The singers’ rejection of homophobia and sexism is an important milestone. We rejoice at their new commitment to music without prejudice,” said Mr Tatchell.

“This deal will have a huge, positive impact in Jamaica and the Caribbean. The media coverage will generate public awareness and debate; breaking down ignorance and undermining homophobia.

“Having these major reggae stars renounce homophobia will influence their fans and the wider public to rethink bigoted attitudes. The beneficial effect on young black straight men will be immense,” he said.

This view is mirrored by fellow Stop Murder Music campaigner, Dennis L Carney, Vice-Chair of the Black Gay Mens Advisory Group (BGMAG) in London. Mr Carney is of Jamaican descent, and played a leading role in negotiating the Reggae Compassionate Act. He added:

“I am thrilled that Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton have signed up to this historic agreement with the Stop Murder Music campaign. We welcome their commitment to not produce music or make public statements that incite hatred and violence against gay people”.

“This is a giant leap towards restoring peace, love and harmony to reggae music. These performers are sending a clear message that lesbians and gay men have a right to live free from fear and persecution – both here in the UK and in Jamaica,” concluded Mr Carney.

In the Reggae Compassionate Act the three singers pledge to:

  • “respect and uphold the rights of all individuals to live without fear of hatred and violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender.”
  • “there’s no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia.”
  • “we agree to not make statements or perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community”

In this declaration the artists promise to not sing lyrics or make public statements, in Jamaica or anywhere else in the world, that incite prejudice, hatred or violence against lesbian and gay people.

“By signing the Reggae Compassionate Act they are stating that, in future, they will not release new homophobic songs or authorise the re-release of previous homophobic songs,” added Mr Tatchell.

“They also agree that they will not make homophobic public statements.

“They recognise that prejudice, hate and violence have no place in music – that singers should unite people, not divide them. They are now committed to opposing homophobic prejudice, discrimination and violence.

“This commitment is a major blow against homophobia in the Caribbean and in popular music.

“The Reggae Compassionate Act applies worldwide. If any of the three singers break this agreement anywhere in the world, we will resume the campaign against them.

“As a result of them signing this statement, for a trial period we are suspending the campaign against these three performers. If they abide by the agreement we will make this suspension permanent.

“The other five murder music artists – Elephant Man, TOK, Bounty Killa, Vybz Kartel and Buju Banton – have not signed the Reggae Compassionate Act. The campaign against them continues. These singers have incited the murder of lesbians and gays. They should not be rewarded with concerts or sponsorship deals.

“The Stop Murder Music campaign urges organisations worldwide to intensify the campaign to cancel these five singer’s concerts and their record, sponsorship and advertising deals. These artists have openly encouraged the murder of lesbians and gay men, which is a criminal offence in every country. We call on all people of good conscience to boycott these promoters of hatred and violence; and to campaign against them with the same determination that they would campaign against racists and anti-Semites.

“These unrepentant homophobic performers are the moral equivalent of neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan,” said Mr Tatchell.

His views are echoed by Gareth Wiliams, co-chair of the Jamaican gay human rights group, J-Flag:

“This statement against homophobia and violence is a move in the right direction,” he said.

“We hope it is not commercially motivated by the singers’ desire to maintain their concert revenues, but a sincere commitment that will encourage an end to homophobic violence and to all violence against everyone. The five artists who have not signed the statement should now follow this lead and declare their support for universal human rights, including the human rights of lesbian and gay people,” said Mr Williams.

Brett Lock, an OutRage! member and key organiser in the Stop Murder Music campaign, reiterated:

“We have never accepted any agreement whereby an artist agrees to not perform homophobic lyrics at concerts in Europe and the US, but continues performing them in the Caribbean.

“The idea that these singers can incite the murder of gay people in Jamaica and then come to Europe and be accepted as legitimate artists is morally sick and indefensible.

“The only agreement we will accept is an agreement that they will not incite homophobic hatred and violence – in lyrics or in public statements – anywhere in the world, including Jamaica. This is what the Reggae Compassionate Act says, and this is the pledge made by the three singers who have signed it,” said Mr Lock.

The Reggae Compassionate Act was negotiated by Eddie Brown of Pride Music UK, with the support of the promoters Michel Jovanovic (Mediacom France), Klaus Maack (Contour Germany), Peter Senders (Panic Productions Holland), Fabrizio Pompeo (Tour de Force Italy), Julian Garcia (Roots and Vibes Spain) and Tim Badejo (Dubble Bubble Scandinavia).

“We would not have secured this agreement without their helpful contacts, input, patience and commitment. We thank them for their hard work,” added Mr Tatchell.

(more…)

Stop Murder Music campaign wins black community award

Recognition for successful worldwide grassroots activism

The Stop Murder Music campaign won the Advocacy Award at the Black LGBT Community Awards 2007 ceremony in London.

The awards ceremony was held at a gala dinner event on-board on a luxury Thames River boat on Saturday evening, 7 April 2007.

The Advocacy Award was in recognition that the Stop Murder Music campaign had “brought together activists worldwide in challenging homophobic lyrics which incite people to violence against LGBT people.”

Dennis Carney, vice-chair of the Black Gay Men’s Advisory Group (BGMAG) collected the award on behalf of the campaign, which involved a partnership between BGMAG, OutRage! and the Jamaican gay rights group, J-Flag.

Mr Carney paid tribute to the dozens of gay and anti-violence groups around the world that participated in making the campaign so effective and successful:

“I thought the BLGBT Community Awards event was fantastic and I was over the moon that the wider Black LGBT community fully recognises and supports the dedication and commitment of the Stop Murder Music Campaign’s work at making homophobic dancehall lyrics a thing of the past, by voting SMMC the winner of the Advocacy Award 2006″. said Mr Carney.

Click here for a photo of Dennis Carney with the award:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157600068875737/

“We are honoured to be a part of the campaign and delighted it has won this accolade from the black LGBT community,” said Brett Lock, spokesperson for gay human rights group, OutRage!, which played a coordinating role in the campaign.

“The Stop Murder Music campaign targeted reggae dancehall singers who released CDs advocating the murder of lesbian and gay people. We got scores of concerts cancelled worldwide, causing these murder music artists to suffer huge financial losses. Faced with this pressure, they have cut their output of homophobic songs and now rarely make homophobic statements. It has been a huge success,” said Mr Lock.

Ted Brown, the veteran black gay activist, won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
He was active in the London Gay Liberation Front in the early 1970s, led the campaign against Buju Banton and Shabba Ranks in the early 1990s, and is involved in the Stop Murder Music campaign today.

Man of the Year was awarded to black gay pastor, Rev Jide Macaulay. Previously an activist in BGMAG in London, Rev Macaulay is of Nigerian decent. Last year he returned to Nigeria to set up the country’s first gay church. He has since become a prominent Nigerian campaigner for lesbian and gay human rights.

SMM Award

© OutRage! 1990-2010. You are free to use this photo to illustrate news stories and articles about OutRage!, the lesbian and gay human rights group, with credit to the group and photographer. For all other uses, please inquire. Photos: Chris Houston, OutRage!