“His homophobic jibes help make bigotry cool and acceptable”.
Grammy and Brit Awards condemned for rewarding prejudice
“Eminem’s lyrics send out mixed messages, some positive but most negative. Whatever his intention, he reinforces prejudice, instead of undermining it”, said Peter Tatchell of the gay rights group, OutRage!.
Tatchell was speaking in advance of the US rap star’s UK tour, which begins on 8 February 2001.
Almost every track on Eminem’s album, Marshall Mathers, contains violent threats to beat, burn and kill “faggots”.
His rap Kill You warns:
“You faggots keep eggin me on
til I have you at knifepoint, then you beg me to stop?”
On the track Remember Me? Eminem sings menacingly:
“FUCK THAT!.you faggots can vanish to volcanic ash
And re-appear in hell with a can of gas, AND a match”
And his song Marshall Mathers boasts:
“I’ll knock you fuckin faggots the fuck out”
“These inflammatory lyrics encourage bigots who hate queers”, said Tatchell. “Some of his fans have sent me hate mail saying things like: ‘Eminem is right, all you queers should be killed'”.
“It is sick the way he jokes and fantasies about raping ‘bitches’ and ‘faggots’. In Britain, an estimated one million gay people have been victims of queer-bashing violence, and last year over 7,000 women were raped and more than 20,000 were sexually assaulted”.
Tatchell and OutRage! have condemned the nomination of Eminem at the prestigious Grammy and Brit music awards:
“The Grammy and Brit Award judges are two-faced hypocrites. They would never give air-time, let alone an award nomination, to a singer who fantasised about the murder of black people”, says Tatchell.
“If Eminem rapped about killing blacks, cutting their throats, suffocating them in the boot of a car and dumping their bodies in a river, he would be hounded out of the music industry. By nominating him for an award, the judges are signalling their toleration of misogyny and homophobia”.
“His bigoted sneers give homophobia a veneer of coolness, which colludes with the twisted prejudices of maladjusted young straight men”.
“Eminem’s abusive depiction of women and gay people looks like a tacit endorsement of queer-bashing and domestic violence. He has never attempted to distance himself from his hateful lyrics. If it is all just an exploration of dark fantasies, why doesn’t he come out and say so? It is significant that he has declined requests to condemn hate crimes against women and gay people”.
“Eminen is undoubtedly talented. But talent is no excuse for bigotry”.
“He plays at being a macho bad boy who dares to break the rules. But he doesn’t cuss black people or rap about them being killed. He’s a coward who picks on easy targets – women and gay men”.
“Eminem shafts gay people while sucking up to the big boys of gangster rap”.
“If Eminem was really into challenging political correctness, he would diss black people with the same enthusiasm that he disrespects homosexuals and women. But he doesn’t dare abuse the black community because he is scared of their reaction”, said Tatchell.
“Eminem appears to be very insecure about his sexual identity. Are the homophobic elements of his songs a bid to prove his masculinity and heterosexuality? His macho pose often comes across as a masquerade to disguise inner turmoil and confusion”.
“It is evident from his abusive relationships with his mother and wife that he doesn’t like women. Like many misogynistic gay men, Eminem would rather hang out with the boys. That’s why he loves the macho world of rap. It’s an all-male scene, where the brothers chill together united in their disrespect for women”.
“It is easy to imagine Eminem as a woman-hating, repressed gay man”, added Tatchell.