Big Day Out organisers faced storm of protest
Tour cancellation sends warning to all murder music singers
Beenie Man incited the murder of lesbians and gays
London, UK – 16 November 2009
All of Beenie Man’s Australian and New Zealand concert dates have been cancelled. This follows protests by gay rights groups, including the Australian Coalition for Equality. It also follows representations to the tour organisers by Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, acting on behalf of the international Stop Murder Music campaign.
“These concert cancellations will hit Beenie Man hard in the pocket. He has lost tens of thousands of dollars. The success of this campaign sends a warning message to all murder music artists: inciting homophobic violence will cost you money. You will lose out big time,” said Mr Tatchell.
Beenie Man had been scheduled to perform in January 2010 at Big Day Out concerts in the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth and in the New Zealand city of Auckland.
The organisers have now confirmed that he will not be in the concert line-up:
For more information about the concert cancellations in Australia, contact Big Day Out organiser, Susan Forrester, in Melbourne: 00 613 9820 4677 and [email protected]
Ms Forrester contacted Peter Tatchell of the gay rights group OutRage! seeking his advice on whether to go ahead with the Beenie Man booking.
Mr Tatchell replied to her, urging Big Day Out to cancel Beenie Man’s concerts. He wrote to Ms Forrester as follows:
“Beenie Man is clearly unrepentant. He has never apologised for urging the killing of gay people. In fact, he put out a statement and hit song called ‘I no apologise’. You would not consider hosting Beenie Man if he was a white racist singer who had called for the murder of black people. You would dump him. There should be no double standards when it comes to singers who incite homophobic violence,” wrote Mr Tatchell.
“Beenie Man is one of Jamaica’s leading reggae stars. He has had hit tunes which incite the murder of lesbians and gay men. It is a tragedy that he has not used his undoubted musical talent to promote the true reggae message of justice, harmony, peace and love.
“Although Beenie Man made an agreement to cease his murder music, he has since reneged and denounced the agreement. He went on to release a song: ‘I no apologise,’” confirmed Mr Tatchell.
In his hit tune Damn, Beenie Man sings: “I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the queers.”
Another of his popular recordings, Bad Man Chi Chi Man (Bad Man Queer Man), instructs listeners to kill gay DJs and boasts that people would gladly go to jail for killing a queer:
“If yuh nuh chi chi (queer) man wave yuh right hand and (NO!!!) / If yuh nuh lesbian wave yuh right hand and (NO!!!) / Some bwoy will go a jail fi kill man tun bad man chi chi man!!! / Tell mi, sumfest it should a be a showdown / Yuh seem to run off a stage like a clown (Kill Dem DJ!!!)”.
Chi Chi Man is a very offensive Jamaican patois homophobic slang insult, equivalent to the insulting words queer, poof and faggot.
Peter Tatchell +44 (0) 207 403 1790 and [email protected]
Corey Irlam, Australian Coalition for Equality, [email protected]
(Australia) 0401 738 996
Copy of Peter Tatchell’s email to the organisers of Big Day Out
Dear Big Day Out,
I urge you to ensure that Beenie Man does not perform at the Big Day Out.
Beenie Man did indeed sign the Reggae Compassionate Act in 2007:
But he denied signing it a few weeks later and has since denounced it.
He even released a song, which he still performs, ‘I no apologise.’ This song implicitly reaffirms that he stands by his previous lyrics urging the murder of lesbians and gay men.
Beenie Man’s music incites and fuels the killing of LGBT people in Jamaica and stirs up homophobic violence worldwide.
Below is a previous news statement from 2007 summing up Beenie Man’s violent homophobic incitements and his refusal to apologise. These criticisms still apply today. Beenie Man has not changed.
I hope that Big Day Out will cancel Beenie Man. This is also the wish of the Jamaican gay rights group, J-Flag (see below). They say there should be zero tolerance of artists who advocate or glorify homophobic violence.
Best wishes, Peter Tatchell,
OutRage! the LGBT human rights campaign, London, UK – International
Coordinator of the Stop Murder Music Campaign
Beenie Man – Cancel his concerts
No platform for singer who says: kill gay people
London – 1 November 2007
Gay rights campaigners in Jamaica and Britain are urging venues, promoters and advertisers to cancel forthcoming concerts by Jamaican reggae dancehall singer Beenie Man.
“We object to his songs that urge the murder of gays and lesbians,” said coordinator of the international Stop Murder Music campaign, Peter Tatchell of the London-based LGBT human rights group OutRage!
“Free speech does not include the right to advocate the killing of other human beings. Incitement to murder is a criminal offence mthroughout the civilised world.
“Would these venues host a concert by a neo-Nazi singer who called for the murder of Black and Jewish people? Of course not. Why the double standards?” asked Mr Tatchell.
The Stop Murder Music campaign is backed by the Jamaican gay rights movement, J-Flag.
A J-Flag spokesperson said:
“We here at J-Flag strongly believe that more pressure needs to be placed on artists like Beenie Man to admit that inciting violence against anyone is wrong and that they will not do it again.
“Beenie Man has refused to apologise and he continues to perform and defend his songs encouraging the murder of lesbians and gays. His concerts should be cancelled. Beenie Man should be arrested, not feted.
“J-Flag wants to create a Jamaica – and a whole world – that celebrates and accepts of sexual difference,” said the J-Flag spokesperson.
Mr Tatchell added:
“Beenie Man has never apologised for his ‘kill gays’ lyrics. His management apologised on his behalf in 2004 but he immediately condemned them for doing so. Beenie Man then put out a song called ‘I no apologise’.
”He has continued to perform and sell his tracks inciting the murder of gay people.
“Some top sponsors have dropped him because of his unrepentant advocacy of homophobic violence. He has had concerts cancelled in Britain and the US because of his continued adamant defence of lyrics advocating the killing of gays and lesbians.
”OutRage! and black gay groups in Jamaica and the UK concluded an agreement with major reggae music companies, who were acting on behalf of the eight Jamaican singers who had released songs urging the murder of queers. Beenie Man, Buju Banton and Bounty Killer have persistently broken this agreement.
”Beenie Man has, in the view of the Jamaican gay rights group J-Flag, broken the letter and the spirit of the agreement we reached to suspend the Stop Murder Music campaign,” said Mr Tatchell.
“The promoters of the Last Hurrah concerts in Jamaica, including Red Stripe, have taken a similar view. They announced the withdrawal of all sponsorship from Beenie Man and from events with which he is involved.
“Australian concert venues and sponsors should show similar moral leadership by cancelling Beenie Man’s performances,” said Mr Tatchell.
Peter Tatchell – +44 207 403 1790
Australian Coalition for Equality
(Australia) 0401 738 996