March 7th, 2008
On Sunday we informed you that Budweiser has signed on as sponsor of a music event that featured Beenie Man. This artist’s lyrics endorses the murder of gay men and women, a position that he unapologetically champions repeatedly in his recordings and performances.
On Monday, March 3, I inquired with Anheuser-Busch regarding this endorsement. On Tuesday I received a response inquiring about the details. At 1:23 PST, I immediately replied with the following email:
Thank you for your response. Here is additional information:
Bud Select is a sponsor of Wild 98.7’s Wild Splash on March 8, 2008 at the Ford Amphitheater. Beenie Man is listed as a featured performer.
[Ref: Link to Wild 98.7 web site]
I’m sure that you are aware that Beenie Man’s lyrics have caused considerable concern in the gay community, as they endorse violence and murder against gay people. A number of venues and sponsors have in the past pulled support once the meaning of his music came to their attention.
[Ref: Link to Guardian web site]
You may also know that Jamaica is currently considered one of the most, if not the very most, dangerous place for gay people to live. There are regular reports of mob attack, often encouraged by the police.
And Beenie Man is unapologetic about his message of hate. When questioned about such lyrics as “I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays” or “Hang lesbians with a long piece of rope” or “Take a bazooka and kill gay men”, he responded that he reserved the right to criticize “the homosexual lifestyle”.
[Ref: Link to IGLA article]
By propagating Beenie Man’s message, venues and sponsors send a message to Jamaicans and others that homophobia is acceptable. There is no question that such messages lead to increased violence and death.
For further information about the conditions in Jamaica and the part that some musicians play in this situation, I invite you to review our website, or just do a quick Google search.
I look forward to your response. Thank you,
As yet I have not received any reply or other response to the information. The St. Petersburg Times lists the following for tomorrow in their Out and About section
Wild Splash ’08: The popular bash hosted by WLLD-FM 98.7 returns this year with a list of some of the hottest acts on the radio airwaves: Wyclef Jean, Beenie Man, Pitbull, Rick Ross, Baby Bash, Trina, Treal, J Holiday, Grind Mode and more. 4 p.m.; Ford Amphitheater, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Call 287-8844.
The radio station’s website continues to list Beenie Man as a performer. The logo for Bud Select has been moved to a more prominent position on the page.
I assume that the concert will go on. And that Beenie Man’s lyrics will continue to call for the murder of “batty-men”. And more gay men and women will be attacked and murdered.
I am saddened that Anheuser-Busch doesn’t seem to care.
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