The Jamaican dancehall star Buju Banton has a long-standing reputation for inciting anti-gay sentiment (his 1992 single “Boom Bye Bye” proposes pouring acid on homosexuals and shooting them in the head with an Uzi, among other things; in 2004, he was tried and acquitted on charges that he participated in the beating of six gay men).
Now, after months of organized protest, both AEG Live/Goldenvoice (the company that produces festivals like Coachella All Points West, and Bumbershoot) and Live Nation (the massive concert promoters behind 360 deals with Jay-Z, Madonna and U2) announced last night that they have canceled their respective concerts with Banton, who was scheduled to perform in major markets across the country through October.
Says L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean in a formal statement: “I hope this victory sends a deafeningly loud message to other promoters and concert venues that singers who glorify violence against LGBT people, or any group of people, should never be welcomed. It shouldn’t be necessary for us to pressure promoters to do the right thing; people like Banton should never have been booked in the first place.”
What do you think, Music Mixers? Should concert promoters be responsible for determining what constitutes untenable hate speech when it comes to booking artists? Would it make any difference if Banton were not keeping”Boom Boom Bye” in his set list in recent concerts? Watch the singer at work, below: