Homophobic reggae stars force concert coverage cancellation

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A New York radio station owned by media conglomerate Clear Channel has announced it will not broadcast a reggae concert as planned.

The decision came after the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) called on Power 105, a hip-hop station, to cancel coverage of tomorrow’s Reggae Carifest because homophobic performers Buju Banton and Bounty Killer are to perform.

Banton’s notorious 1990s hit Boom Bye Bye appears to incite the burning, shooting in the head and pouring acid over the faces of gay people.

In July he signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act, promising not to perform songs that advocate homophobia, in a deal brokered by and Stop Murder Music activists.

He later denied that he had made any such commitment.

GLAAD collaborated with Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD), Queer Justice League, People of Colour in Crisis, The National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce and the New York City Anti-Violence Project to call on Clear Channel to withdraw its support for these anti-gay performers.

Their campaign was successful. Senior Director of Media Programmes Rashad Robinson issued the following statement today:

“Yesterday we issued at GLAAD Alert calling on Clear Channel to withdraw its sponsorship of Reggae Carifest, in light of the fact that two of its featured performers,­ Buju Banton and Bounty Killer, ­ publicly advocate and promote anti-gay violence in their songs.

“Following publication of that alert, Clear Channel quietly but quickly dropped its sponsorship of the event.

“The decision … means that Clear Channel joins other companies and venues worldwide that refuse to support these performers’ dangerous messages of violence and hatred. GLAAD hopes that in the future, Clear Channel will be more forthright in condemning violence and hatred in the music and performers they sponsor.”

The Stop Murder Music campaign spearheaded by UK gay activist group OutRage! has brought about the cancellation of hundreds of concerts and sponsorship deals, causing income losses estimated in excess of $5m (£2.5m).