Reggae stars accused of inciting the murder of gay people.
Amazon, HMV and Virgin also face prosecution.
MOBO organisers condemned for “rewarding” hate singers with nominations.
Three MOBO Award nominees are at risk of arrest on charges of inciting the murder of lesbian and gay people.
The gay human rights group OutRage! is urging the Metropolitan Police to bring hate crime charges against Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man – all of whom are nominated for a MOBO Award in the category “Best Reggae Act”.
The MOBO Awards take place at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 25 September.
The Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, and the former Solicitor-General, Lord Falconer, have both given their legal opinion that it is possible under British law to prosecute singer’s who incite homophobic violence.
The three reggae singers have released songs variously urging the beating, shooting and burning of lesbians and gay men. These songs abuse gay people using the derogatory Jamaican patois slang, “batty man” and “chi chi man” (the equivalent of poof, bender and faggot).
OutRage! is calling for the three reggae stars to be prosecuted under either the Public Order Act, the common law offence of inciting violence and murder, or the solicitation to murder clause of the Offences Against the Person Act.
It also wants prosecutions bought against the singer’s record companies: Jet Star, Greensleeves, Octave, VP, Shanachie, Tvt and Artists Only Records.
It is also pressing for charges against retailers that sell these singer’s incitement-to-murder songs, including Amazon, HMV and Virgin record stores.
Peter Tatchell of OutRage! has presented Commander Steve Allen, head of the hate crime unit at New Scotland Yard, a 10-page dossier detailing the lyrics that incite the murder of gay people and setting out the legal case for a prosecution.
Mr Tatchell has condemned the MOBO organisers for accepting the nomination of the three homophobic reggae artists, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man:
“Their nomination is tantamount to rewarding bigotry. It is the moral equivalent of the Brit Awards nominating a racist entertainer who incites the killing of black people”, he said.
“The MOBO organisers should withdraw these nominations immediately, and apologise to the gay community for their collusion with these entertainer’s homophobic abuse and threats”.
“We urge black community leaders to speak out against singers who incite queer-bashing. It is appalling for members of one minority to attack members of another minority. Given our common experience of prejudice, we should stand together united against all forms of discrimination and violence”, said Mr Tatchell.
“The MOBO organisers would never agree to the nomination of a racist singer who advocated the killing of black or Jewish people. Why are they validating homophobes like Elephant Man, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer? These reggae bigots are fuelling anti-gay hatred and violence. The main victims are black lesbians and gay men, both here and in Jamaica”.
“Even if these singers are not being nominated for their homophobic tracks, by agreeing to their nomination the MOBO organisers are signalling they believe anti-gay performers are acceptable in black music”, said Tatchell.
Discussing the bid to get the three reggae stars prosecuted, the co-organiser of the OutRage! campaign, Brett Lock, added:
“In February, the Crown Prosecution Service announced its intention to crackdown on homophobic hate crimes. Two months later, the Metropolitan Police issued a new hate crimes initiative, encouraging gay people to report homophobic threats.
“Our request for a prosecution will test whether the police and crown prosecutors are sincere in their pledge to get tough with homophobic hate crimes”, said Mr Lock.
Excerpts of lyrics from Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man which incite the assault and murder of lesbians and gay men:
Beenie Man’s hit tune, Bad Man Chi Chi Man (Bad Man, Queer Man), instructs listeners to kill gay DJs:
“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!!!)”.
A Nuh Fi Wi Fault by Elephant Man boasts:
“Battyman fi dead!/Please mark we word/Gimme tha tech-nine/Shoot dem like bird”.
Another Elephant Man track, We Nuh Like Gay, goes:
“Battyman fi dead! Tek dem by surprise/Ghetta in shot head, cau me big gun
collide./gimme me Tech-9, General B. wid de chrome an waa shine/Harry Toddler shot out ah bugger-man”.
Elephant Man’s song, Log On, celebrates setting fire to a gay person and stamping on their body:
“Log on and step pon chi chi (queer) man/Dance wi a dance and a bun (burn) out a freaky (queer) man./Step pon him like a old cloth/A dance wi a dance and a crush out dem./do di walk, mek mi see the light and di torch dem fass”.
Bounty Killer’s Mr. Wanna Be includes the lyrics:
“Hear this likkle punk guh sing a battyman concept/Seh him hood Deanie, a deh suh mi object/And him guh pon Mirage, and guh dis-respect./War mi start dat by reservation and request/To kill dis yah fool, to me dat is no stress/Murder dem fast just like a Federal Express/And mi run wild west
Another Level, featuring Bounty Killer with Babycham, says:
“Bun a fire pon a kuh pon mister fagoty (Uh huh)/Cocky deh yah suh fi wheel unda Dorothy (Uh huh)/Ears ah ben up and a wince under agony/Poop man fi drown a dat a yawd man philosophy (Uh huh)”