Thursday, July 13, 2006
Lifebeat Cancels Charity Concert Headed By Anti-Gay Reggae Stars
In a pretty bizarre story, the AIDS charity Lifebeat had planned a July 18 concert in NYC with Beenie Man and TOK, two reggae artists famous for songs in which they call for the killing of gay men. (Beenie Man disingenuosly says "batty boy" means only a child molestor when in fact it is widely considered to refer to all gay men.) Neither artist has ever stopped singing the songs and in fact their shows away from American media often include anti-gay slurs and taunts. Why Lifebeat would ever book them in the first place is a puzzle. A Lifebeat head said they wanted to reach out to different audiences -- what, the anti-gay audience? They finally called it off after negative publicity and a wave of protest calls, though even now they claim the only problem was threatened violence by a small group of activists. Way to admit your mistake.