Homophobic lyrics hamper entertainers
Local Vibes
September 10, 2004

Homophobic lyrics hamper entertainers

The Guardian-Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel, the two controversial reggae acts accused of inciting violence against homosexuals, have been dropped from the Music of Black Origin awards after refusing to provide their promised written apologies.{{more}}
The two artists, nominated in the best reggae single category, were dropped at 6pm yesterday evening, the deadline by which they had said they would provide written apologies confirming their verbal declarations. None came.
A spokeswoman said the Mobo Academy was left with no other solution last night, but to withdraw both acts from the award category, leaving only two nominees, Sean Paul, and Toots and The Maytals
“Mobo has had to overcome great prejudice to exist themselves. The last thing we want to do is encourage prejudice to any minority groups,” she added.
The artists were included in the list, she said, because their representatives had assured Mobo awards that since recording the controversial tracks they had personally moved on positively as artists and were willing to declare this publicly.
“However, we have not yet received the written apologies as previously promised,” she said.
“The Mobo’s position has been clear from the outset. We do not condone music that incites violence to gay and lesbian people, nor do [we] advocate censorship of artistic expression.”
The gay human rights group OutRage! which has been campaigning against the artists and their lyrics said last night that the Mobos had taken a lead which they hoped other promoters, sponsors and record companies would follow.
“The singers’ refusal to apologise is indicative of their unrepentant violent homophobia,” Peter Tatchell of OutRage! said yesterday.
Three other R&B acts, Beverley Knight, MC Shystie, and Michelle Gayle, have made public statements against homophobia.