An Open Letter to Live Nation, Inc. Regarding Anti-gay "Murder Music"
GLN permalink posted August 23, 2009
Live Nation is sponsoring a nationwide tour -- including San Francisco and San Jose -- of Buju Banton, who calls for killing Lesbians and Gays in the lyrics of his songs. Several years ago he was accused and acquitted of murdering a gay man in Jamaica.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Live Nation, Inc.
9348 Civic Center Drive
Beverly Hills, California, 90210
Dear Mr. Rapino:
Hopefully you are aware that Live Nation/House of Blues has booked Buju Banton for a nationwide tour, including a Chicago stop on October 1, 2009. Buju Banton is one of a handful of performers whose output has been labeled "murder music" for openly advocating the murder of Lesbians and Gays in the lyrics of their music.
House of Blues has faced protests before against its sponsorship of anti-gay "murder music"; yet it apparently persists in thinking that LGBT people should "tolerate" those who call for murdering us.
House of Blues/Live Nation would never book Buju Banton or any performer who advocated killing African Americans or Jews, and rightfully so. Why, then, is it okay for House of Blues to hire a musician who calls for murdering Lesbians and Gays? Why the double standard?
When Live Nation purchased House of Blues several years ago we wrote to your corporate office asking that Reggae Dancehall "murder musicians" like Buju Banton not be booked unless and until these performers renounce their past behavior and promise no more murderous lyrics going forward. Banton first signed then repudiated just such an agreement. This is particularly an issue in his native Jamaica where gays face a living hell due, in part, to performers like Buju Banton who stoke the flames of an already dangerous situation by singing their murderous music.
Perhaps his most notorious "kill gays" song is "Boom, Bye Bye" in which Banton describes shooting "battyman" (slang for a gay man) in the head, sometimes with an Uzi, an automatic weapon.
We call upon Live Nation management to do the right thing and cancel the Buju Banton tour. We will credit your company with the appropriate corporate response to irrational and murderous hostility toward lesbian and gay people. Should Live Nation not cancel Banton's tour, you will offer us no alternative but to go forward with plans to protest in as many cities as possible, including Chicago.
Gay Liberation Network
Note to readers:
We encourage those who are outraged by Live Nation's promotion of this viciously anti-LGBT tour that you contact Live Nation yourself and let them know how you feel about Live Nation's sponsorship of messages encouraging violence against LGBTs. You can call the Live Nation customer service line to complain at 800.431.3462 7 AM to 2 PM (PST) Monday thru Friday or email them at CustomerService@LiveNation.com
We encourage activists around the country to mount their own protests against murder music performances in their cities. Here is a list of Buju Banton's 2009 concert tour dates:
Philadelphia (Sept 12); Providence (Sept 15); Portland, ME (Sept 17); Revere, MA (Sept 18); Charlotte (Sept 23); Raleigh (Sept 24); Norfolk (Sept 25); Richmond, VA (Sept 26); Detroit (Sept 30); Chicago (Oct 1); Denver (Oct 6); Aspen, CO (Oct 7); Salt Lake City (Oct 8); San Francisco (Oct 10); Tallahassee (Oct 11); Jacksonville, FL (Oct 12); San Jose, CA (Oct 13); Charleston (Oct 14); Los Angeles (Oct 14); Raleigh (Oct 15)