Main | Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reggae Artists Pledge End To Anti-Gay And Violent Lyrics

My hero, British gay activist Peter Tatchell, is (among many other things) the coordinator of the Stop Murder Music campaign, which seeks to end the anti-gay lyrical content of reggae music. Today three of the top reggae artists in the world, Beenie Man, Sizzla, and Capleton, have announced that they have signed on to the Reggae Compassionate Act in a deal brokered with top reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists. The act reads:
It must be clear there's no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia. We do not encourage nor minister to HATE but rather uphold a philosophy of LOVE, RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING towards all human beings as the cornerstone of reggae. We agree to not make statements or perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community."
Reggae artists have come under increasing scrutiny for their violent and anti-gay lyrics, with some artists having their performances cancelled due to the protests of activists. Tatchell: "The singers' rejection of homophobia and sexism is an important milestone. We rejoice at their new commitment to music without prejudice." Five other "murder music" artists, whose lyrics routinely call for gay bashing and the murder of gay people, have not signed the act. They are: Elephant Man, TOK, Bounty Killa, Vybz Kartel and Buju Banton.
RELATED: Peter Tatchell was recently beaten by anti-gay protesters at Moscow Pride.

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