Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
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Posts for June, 2011

Jamaican “Murder Music” Star Gets Ten Year Sentence

Jim Burroway

June 23rd, 2011

Buju Banton, at the time of his arrest.

Jamaican dance-hall and “murder music” star Buju Banton was sentenced to ten years in prison today for his role in a large cocaine trafficking deal in 2009. The sentence is the lowest that is legally allowed for the charge against him. According to Banton’s attorney, David Markus, Banton could be out in six years due to time already served and credits for good behavior.

Banton was convicted in February of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense. An earlier trial last year ended in a hung jury.

Banton, who won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album for his latest release “Before the Dawn” in February, is immensely popular in Jamaica. His 1992  single, “Boom Bye Bye” calls for gay people to be shot in the head with automatic weapons, have acid poured on them, and burned “like an old tire wheel.” British LGBT Activist Peter Tatchel called the song “probably the most murderous incitement recorded by any singer anywhere in the world.” In 2007 Banton was among a number of reggae artists who signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, promising to refrain from performing homophobic songs or making homophobic statements. He later deniedsigning the pact, and he has performed “Boom Bye Bye” since renouncing the agreement. His 2009 U.S. tour was marked with protests and concert cancellations. During that tour, Banton asserted that there would be “no end to the war between me and gays.”

Murder Music Star Found Guilty of Drug and Weapon Charges

Jim Burroway

February 22nd, 2011

Buju Banton, at the time of his arrest.

Jamaican Dance Hall performer Buju Banton was found guilty in Federal Court today of conspiring to set up a cocaine deal in 2009. The performer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was arrested last year in Miami following a sting by federal FBI agents. According to the Associated Press:

Banton was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using the wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offense. He was acquitted of attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. Much of the case hinged on meetings and phone calls that were video and audiotaped by the confidential informant, who was working with the Drug Enforcement Administration — and who made $50,000 in commission after the bust.

This is Banton’s second trail on these charges. A jury deadlocked in the first trial earlier last year. Banton, who won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album for his latest release”Before the Dawn” last weekend, is imensely popular in Jamaica. The Jamaica Observer describes fans as “reeling”, and they’ve been Tweeting their objections:

Meanwhile fans of Reggae mourned the loss one of its biggest stars, the self-titled ‘Voice of Jamaica’.

“Buju a di heart a Reggae enu..Buju is not guilty..tell dem gu find di real criminal deem,” said fellow artiste ‘DiStar’.

For many, however, the verdict was the final act in a conspiracy against the artiste. “He’s been framed well good am still not convince he’s guilty,” said Abigale Bogle.

Banton faces the possibility of life in prison.

Buju Banton’s 1992  single, “Boom Bye Bye” calls for gay people to be shot in the head with automatic weapons, have acid poured on them, and burned “like an old tire wheel.” British LGBT Activist Peter Tatchel called the song “probably the most murderous incitement recorded by any singer anywhere in the world.” In 2007 Banton was among a number of reggae artists who signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, promising to refrain from performing homophobic songs or making homophobic statements. He later denied signing the pact, and he has performed “Boom Bye Bye” since renouncing the agreement.

In 2009, Banton’s U.S. tour was marked with several concert cancellations due to protests from members of local and national LGBT groups. During the tour, Banton told a Jamaican radio station, “This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs ‘there is no end to the war between me and faggot’ and it’s clear.”

Murder Music Performer Buju Banton Faces Drug Charges In Miami

Jim Burroway

December 12th, 2009

From the Miami Herald:

Buju BantonBuju Banton, the Jamaican reggae star whose anti-gay lyrics have drawn international criticism, is in a federal lockup in Miami, facing drug conspiracy charges.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents say Banton, real name Mark Anthony Myrie, has been in custody since Thursday and will soon be transferred to Tampa, where the U.S. Attorney is charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilos of cocaine.

Buju Banton’s 1992  single, “Boom Bye Bye” calls for gay people to be shot in the head with automatic weapons, have acid poured on them, and burned “like an old tire wheel.” British LGBT Activist Peter Tatchel called the song “probably the most murderous incitement recorded by any singer anywhere in the world.” In 2007 Banton was among a number of reggae artists who signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, promising to refrain from performing homophobic songs or making homophobic statements. He later denied signing the pact, and has performed “Boom Bye Bye” since renouncing the agreement.

This past fall, Banton’s U.S. tour was marked with several concert cancellations due to protests from members of local and national LGBT groups. During the tour, Banton told a Jamaican radio station, “This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs ‘there is no end to the war between me and faggot’ and it’s clear.” Last week, Banton’s latest album, Rasta Got Soul, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. In response, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) launched a petition drive calling on the Recording Academy to withdraw Banton’s nomination.

Pepsi Responds To Reports of Murder Music Sponsorship In Uganda

Jim Burroway

December 7th, 2009

Pepsi has released a brief statement in response to reports that Pepsi sponsored a murder music concert by Beenie Man in Kampala over the weekend. Pepsi responded:

We are appalled by the performer’s lyrics and find them repugnant.  Our bottling partner in Uganda was not aware of the performer’s views and never would have sponsored the concert with this knowledge.  Moving forward, we will work closely with our bottling partners to be more vigilant about the events associated with our brands.”

And yes, our web site was down for a couple of hours this afternoon. All the traffic coming in concerning this story brought the web site’s host server to its knees. I’ve been on the phone with a very helpful service support person who talked me through several options. Hopefully things will return to normal in the next few days.

Murder Music Performer Brings Violent Message To Uganda, Sponsored By Pepsi

Jim Burroway

December 6th, 2009

Beenie Man onstange in Kampala, UgandaUganda’s independent newspaper The Daily Monitor reports on Jamaican dancehall and murder music performer Beenie Man’s concert at Kampala’s Kyadondo Rugby Club last Saturday. According to reporter Rafsangan Abbey Tatya:

The King of Dancehall stuck a sword of words into gay people through singing and talking. “In my family, we don’t have any gay person but if you’re gay, my brother that’s not my fault,” he said as he performed his song Mi Nah Wallah, in which he says he would like to cut the throats of all gay men.

George Bush and Bin Laden were also at the receiving end of the Jamaican’s wrath calling on the audience to say “murderer” as he sang about the pair’s warfare.

The concert, which also featured about a half-dozen local performers, was sponsored by Pepsi, and appeared to have had a promotional tie-in with Toyota:

The show was sponsored by Pepsi and it doubled as the Crown Beverages’ Chamuka Keys Finale with three RAV4 winners presented on stage to join 17 previous winners in receiving their car log books.

April 19, 2009 edition of Uganda’s Red Pepper (Scans via GayUganda. Names and faces obscured by Box Turtle Bulletin. Click to enlarge).

April 19, 2009 edition of Uganda’s Red Pepper (Scans via GayUganda. Names and faces obscured by Box Turtle Bulletin. Click to enlarge).

This type of performance is extremely dangerous. This past year, Uganda has experienced a round of public vigilantism, in which accused LGBT people were publicly identified in a major tabloid newspaper and on radio and television. That was followed with reports of arrests, blackmail and extra-judicial torture.

Homosexuality is currently punishable with lifetime imprisonment. A new proposal before Parliament affirms that punishment while expanding the definition of homosexuality. It also provides for the death sentence under certain circumstances and outlaws all advocacy or defense of LGBT people with seven years imprisonment. Failure to report LGBT people to police will result in punishment of three years imprisonment.

UPDATE: Pepsi has responded with this statement:

We are appalled by the performer’s lyrics and find them repugnant.  Our bottling partner in Uganda was not aware of the performer’s views and never would have sponsored the concert with this knowledge.  Moving forward, we will work closely with our bottling partners to be more vigilant about the events associated with our brands.”

Murder Music Performer Garners Grammy Nomination

Jim Burroway

December 3rd, 2009

Buju BantonJamaican dancehall and murder music performer Buju Banton has just secured a fourth Grammy nomination, this time a Best Reggae Album nomination for Rasta Got Soul. This follows a contentious U.S. tour in which several venues canceled Banton’s performance due to protests from members of local and national LGBT community groups.

Buju Banton has came under fire for performing songs advocating violence against gay people, including his 1992  single, “Boom Bye Bye” which calls for gay people to be shot in the head with automatic weapons, have acid poured on them, and burned “like an old tire wheel.” UK LGBT Activist Peter Tatchel called the song “probably the most murderous incitement recorded by any singer anywhere in the world.” In 2007 Banton was among a number of reggae artists who signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, promising to refrain from performing homophobic songs or making homophobic statements. He later denied signing the pact, and has performed “Boom Bye Bye” since renouncing the agreement.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch confirmed that Banton was among six men involved in a gay bashing in June 2004 in Constant Spring, Jamaica. After meeting with Bay-area LGBT activists during Banton’s 2009 U.S. tour, Banton announced on Jamaican radio that “there is no end to the war between me and faggot.”

[Hat tip: Michael Petrelis]

Buju Banton’s Cancelled LA Show Rebooked On the Downlow?

Jim Burroway

October 15th, 2009

That’s what seems to have happened:

Jamaican Reggae star Buju Banton, whose upcoming performance in Los Angeles was initially canceled after outcry over his homophobic lyrics, may be slated to perform Thursday night.

A woman speaking for Hollywood’s Cabana Club told Advocate.com on Thursday that the event had yet to be confirmed — five hours before the scheduled start time, 9 p.m. However, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center has announced it will be holding a silent protest in front of the club on Thursday.

Banton’s North American tour has experienced multiple cancellations over the past few months as LGBT activists have protested his music advocating the murder of gay people. On Monday, LGBT advocates Michael Petrelis, San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty, EQCA’s Andrea Shorter met with Banton and pressed him with several ideas on how to diffuse the controversy. Despite the fact that Banton rejected every suggestion out of hand, the LGBT advocates hailed it as a “good first step.” Karen Ocamb found that hard to take:

And now that photo op, glowing press from the SF Weekly, and a few quotes from Dufty and Petrelis about how this was a “good first step” are being used by Banton’s PR team to put a crack in the wall of what up to this point has been a successful boycott with promoters cancelling concerts.  That pictures made newspapers, TV stations and blogs from South Miami to Jamaica.

News of the meeting met with glowing reviews from The Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer, which asks “Buju Breaks Under Pressure?” The clear message in both articles is for Banton to hold firm.

Karen Ocamb asked UK activist Peter Taschell for comment on the meeting. Tatchell has been at the forefront of the long-running campaign to stop murder music by asking artists to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act. Tatchell reports that Banton signed the document in 2007, only to repudiate it in the weeks following.  In the email to Ocamb, Tatchell described the photo-op as “a big propaganda victory for Banton”:

Despite their reported failure to secure anything from Banton, LGBT activists agreed to allow his concert at the Rock It Room to go ahead. If true, I am stunned that Banton’s demand for a concert was conceded in exchange for nothing tangible from him.

…This meeting is a big propaganda victory for Banton. He can now use it to show that he has dialogue with the LGBT community. It will be ruthlessly exploited by his management to undermine the LGBT campaign and the concert cancellations.

Meanwhile, Banton’s tour continues:

Buju Banton Tour Update

Jim Burroway

October 12th, 2009

It’s been a while since we checked in on Buju Banton, the Jamaican dancehall singer whose music advocating violent deaths for gay people has caused several American concert venues to cancel his performances. San Francisco LGBT activist Michael Petrelis met with Buju Banton and his entourage. According to Petrelis, Banton’s advisers said they really wanted to put the controversy behind them, but Banton rejected every suggestion Petrelis made to address the issue. Meanwhile, the Jamaica Observer hailed Banton’s tour as “the biggest-selling reggae tour of the year,” despite the controversy and cancellations.

The web site Cancel Buju Banton has been doing a good job at keeping tabs on those cancellations and reschedules. As of this evening, here’s how things look:

[Hat tips: GLBTQ Jamaica, Michael Petrelis]

Buju Banton Salt Lake City Concert Cancelled

Jim Burroway

September 15th, 2009

Buju Banton’s October 8 concert scheduled for the Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City has been cancelled. Club operators say they were unaware of his murder music lyrics when they booked him.

Two More Murder Music Concert Cancellations Announced

Jim Burroway

August 29th, 2009

According to a press release from the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, two more concerts by murder music dancehall singer Buju Banton have been canceled. In addition to the four House of Blues dates mentioned earlier, AEG Live/Goldenvoic have announced the cancellations of scheduled concerts in Los Angeles (Oct. 14), in San Francisco (Oct. 10), and Philadelphia (Sept. 12).

This is in addition to the announced cancellation by Live Nation of four concerts at House of Blues venues in Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas and Houston. However as of 12:30 p.m. EST this afternoon, Live Nation’s web site is still selling tickets for the Houston concert.

All seventeen concerts which Ticketmaster promoted are still listed on the Ticketmaster web site, including the House of Blues engagements. In addition to the six announced cancellations still being listed, Ticketmaster is still promoting concerts in Bladensburg, MD (Sept 13); Revere, MA (Sept 18); Newark, NJ (Sept 20); Norfolk, VA (Sept 25); Richmond VA (Sept 26); Detroit (Sept 30); Cincinnati (Oct 2); Columbus, OH (Oct 3); Minneapolis (Oct 4); and Atlanta (Oct 24).

According to VH1, additional cities on the tour include Providence, RI (Sept 13); New Haven, CT (Sept 16); Portland, ME (Sept 17); Charlotte, NC (Sept 23); Raleigh, NC (Sept 24); Norfolk, VA (Sept 25); White Plains, NY (Spet 27); Denver (Oct 6); Aspen (Oct 7); Salt Lake City (Oct 8); Eureka, CA (Oct 11); Albuquerque (Oct 19); Charleston, SC (Oct 27); Jacksonville (Oct 29); Ybor City, FL (Oct 30); Miami (Oct 31);  and Orlando (Nov 1).

Live Nation, Ticketmaster Promote Murder Music Concert Tour

Jim Burroway

August 25th, 2009

Live Nation and Ticketmaster are promoting a new concert tour by Jamaican danchall artist Buju Banton who is renowned for lyrics calling for the murder of gay people. Announced concert venues include such cities as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Newark, Dallas, Houston, and Las Vegas.

Buju Banton has a long history of performing songs advocating violence against gay people, including one song, “Boom Bye Bye” which calls for gay people to be shot in the head with automatic weapons, have acid poured on them, and burned “like an old tire wheel.” UK LGBT Activist Peter Tatchel called the song “probably the most murderous incitement recorded by any singer anywhere in the world.” Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch confirmed that Buju Banton was among six men involved in a gay bashing in June 2004 in Constant Spring, Jamaica. UK

The portions of Buju Banton tour promoted by Live Nation will hit House of Blues franchises in four cities: Chicago (Oct 1), Las Vegas (Oct 15), Dallas (Oct 20) and Houston (Oct 22). House of Blues is owned by Live Nation.

Ticketmaster is promoting not only the four House of Blues dates, but also thirteen other concerts across the country. Concerts being promoted by Ticketmaster include: Philadelphia (Sept 12); Bladensburg, MD (Sept 13); Revere, MA (Sept 18); Newark, NJ (Sept 20); Norfolk, VA (Sept 25); Richmond VA (Sept 26); Detroit (Sept 30); Cincinnati (Oct 2); Columbus, OH (Oct 3); Minneapolis (Oct 4); San Francisco (Oct 10); Los Angeles (Oct 14); and Atlanta (Oct 24).

According to VH1, other cities on the tour include Providence, RI; New Haven, CT; Charlotte and Raleigh, NC; Richmond, VA; Denver; Aspen; Salt Lake City; Eureka, CA; Albuquerque; Charleston, SC; Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Ybor City, FL.

iTunes Canada Removes Murder Dancehall Music

Jim Burroway

April 7th, 2008

iTunes.ca has pulled several Jamaican dancehall songs with anti-gay lyrics from its online store, including songs by Buju Banton, Elephant Man and TOK. This action followed a campaign led by the Canadian LGBT rights group Egale and Stop Murder Music. The songs include advocating or approval of killing gays:

“iTunes is exercising its corporate responsibility by pulling this murder music and raising the bar for other retailers and distributors to do the same,” says Akim Larcher, founder of SMM. He calls iTune’s decision a victory for the gay community in Canada and in the Caribbean.

The groups wrote to iTunes in January asking that the anti-gay tracks to be removed, citing three songs which promoted violence against gays. iTunes not only removed those tracks, but they also removed entire albums which contained the songs.

I looked around on the U.S. iTunes, and I wasn’t able to find Elephant Man’s “Log On” (Lyrics: “Dance wi a dance and a bun out a freaky man” — Join our dance and let’s burn out the gay man), or Buju Banton’s “Boom Bye Bye,” or any of Beenie Man’s three targeted songs.

Outrage! U.K. has a complete dossier (PDF: 348KB/9 pages) for the Stop Murder Music campaign. Some of the songs are still available via U.S. iTunes. Maybe some of our Canadian readers can provide us with the songs which are still available there as well. Please leave what you find either in comments or via email.

Update: The following murder music is still available via iTunes here in the U.S.:

Bounty Killer:

  • Man a Badman (“You know we need no promo to rub out dem homo” — “You know we don’t need a prom to kill a homo.”)
  • Look Good (“Mi ready fi go wipe out this fag wid pure laser beam” — “I’m ready to wipe out this faggot with a pure laser beam.”)

Capleton:

  • Bun Out Di Chi Chi Man (“Bun out ah chi chi, blood out ah chi chi” — “Burn out a queer, stab or chop up a queer.”)
  • Whoa! (“Sadomite and batty man mi shot up… Whoa!” — Sodomite and queer man, I shoot up… Whoa!”)

Vybz Kartel:

  • Pussy Jaw (“From yuh faggy Waterford/A wet yuh up wid di Maggy” — “If you are from faggoty Waterford, I shoot you with a Magnum.”)

Jamaican Tourism Minister Shrugs off Violence Against Gays

Timothy Kincaid

April 7th, 2008

bartlett.jpgTourism is vital to Jamaica’s economy, with about one third of every employed Jamaican working in a tourism related industry. With their “Come to Jamaica and feel alright” campaign, the island nation seeks to present itself as a paradise for vacationing Americans.

But sadly, the Jamaican society does not seem to believe that reality need live up to their media image.

Recent attention has been given to the violence against gay persons in the country. And resulting from the attacks on gay men, MCC has called on the country to repudiate such violence and to take steps to ensure the safety of the gay men and women who live there.

Now Jamaicans in position of influence have given their response.

Today Radio Jamaica reports that the Tourism Minister is not concerned about the efforts of MCC or other “homosexual groups”:

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett [pictured, top] has brushed off calls by homosexual groups for a tourism boycott of Jamaica and Jamaican products.

But at least one Jamaican business recognizes that anti-gay violence does not sell well outside of a homophobic culture.

Brewing company Red Stripe says it will not sponsor several upcoming concerts in Jamaica because of increasingly violent lyrics.

The company has withdrawn thousands of dollars (euros) in sponsorship from the popular “Reggae Sumfest” and “Sting” reggae show. Musicians are glorifying violence in what has become a worrisome trend, the company said in a statement Friday.

But the actions of Red Stripe did not sit well with Jamaican media. In an article entitled Long live reggae/dancehall, the newspaper contrasted the views of gay activists and the “Jamaican position”. The article quoted the Box Turtle Bulletin as it’s source for the attitudes of such activists and Jamaican religious leaders.

miller.jpgSaw an interesting article on the Internet recently dated February 18, written by a Timothy Kinkaid stating that the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), a gay-welcoming denomination, has started a protest against the Jamaican government’s inability – or unwillingness – to crack down on anti-gay violence. …

The article continued, “One might suppose that a call for the cessation of violence was a campaign which all Christians could support. One would be wrong. Not only were MCC’s requests reviled in the Jamaican media, but Jamaica’s Christian community did not take well to being told that they ought not murder gays.

The Rev Dr Merrick ‘Al’ Miller [pictured], pastor of the Fellowship Tabernacle in St Andrew, said that Jamaicans generally deem homosexuality wrong. He said the demands of gay activists who are attempting to force their beliefs on society will in no way influence Jamaicans to change their views.”

Need we say more?

And the Caribbean net news ran a letter to the editor last Saturday expressing indignation that outsiders would consider making purchasing decisions based on Jamaica’s abuse of their gay citizens.

It fully angers me to hear that this group of foreigners think they can dictate the policy and laws of another sovereign nation because they trade products and services with them. It was selfish, shortsighted thinking like this that led to Haiti being in the state it currently is.

I always thought that the laws of a nation were dictated by what that society decided was right and wrong and that we were in a world where, if my countries laws and polices were not the same as yours, we could agree to disagree.

What is missing from the conversation in Jamaica is the voice of reason, the voice of non-violence, the voice of decency. When confronted with murder, the response is, “How dare you criticize me?” and no one seems to find this concerning.

There are many factors that go into the decision of whether to engage in a boycott. One has to consider whether your efforts will be effective and whether the end result will be better or worse conditions for gay Jamaicans. And I’m certain that MCC is more responsible and forward thinking than, say, the AFA.

But whether or not there is a boycott on Jamaican goods, I am certain that I would be afraid to visit there. The physical danger is not minor and I fear that should there be a threat to me, neither the government, the church, or the society would come to my rescue. Further, I would discourage anyone whom I love from vacationing on the island. Those who champion violence against some can champion violence against many.

Perhaps Minister Bartlett shares the homophobia that is rampant in Jamaican society. Or perhaps he fears the condemnation he would receive as a result of being perceived as inadequately hostile to homosexual activists such as me. But if he cares about the future of his nation’s economy and stability, he might be better concerned that his nation not come to be seen by the American public as a hostile and violent place and he might wish to consider that the tourists he seeks to draw do not often share his culture’s fear and revulsion of gay men and women.

Budweiser Addresses Murder Music Complaint

Timothy Kincaid

March 12th, 2008

budselect.pngLast Saturday there was a concert in Tampa that featured the Beenie Man. This artist has a history of advocating for murder and violence against gay men and women in his lyrics.

We expressed our concern to two national brands that were listed as sponsors of this concert, Budweiser Select and metroPCS.

Today we received the following e-mail from Anheuser-Busch:

Dear Timothy,

Thank you for contacting Anheuser-Busch regarding the WiLD Splash concert series.

Anheuser-Busch is not a sponsor of WiLD Splash. The local, independent Anheuser-Busch distributor is a partner of radio station WLLD, and agreed to sponsor the concert series months earlier without the benefit of knowing the entire artist line-up. The local distributor will address this issue with WLLD Radio and will perform its own research on acts slated for any future concert series.

Anheuser-Busch exercises no direct control over the marketing efforts of independent wholesalers including their sponsorships, participating artists or content of such an event. However, neither Anheuser-Busch or any of our wholesalers would knowingly participate in any sponsorship, promotion or performance that denigrates any segment of our consumers, and we specifically denounce any espoused violence against the LGBT community.

Regretfully, some confusion in the original consumer contact and our own internal processes failed to escalate this consumer inquiry in a timely manner allowing Anheuser-Busch to strongly advise the wholesaler against any participation in the event. Additional safeguards have been put in place to accelerate our processes to prevent future problems; specifically, all future LGBT issues will be sent directly to my attention for immediate handling.

Anheuser-Busch maintains a corporate commitment to zero tolerance for discrimination and the belief that every consumer is important, regardless of race, sex, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran’s status.

Thank you again for bringing this regrettable situation to our attention and rest assured that it will be addressed at all levels within the Anheuser-Busch family.

Sincerely,

James Ramey

Manager, Multi-Cultural Marketing

I appreciate the difficulty of managing the image of a national brand while allowing local sponsorship decisions. And I commend Mr. Ramey for identifying the problem, taking a strong stance against homophobic music, and establishing steps to ensure that the Budweiser Select name does not again become associated with murder music.

So folks, this week when you’re catching the game (or the American Idol results show) crack open a cold Bud.

On the other hand, we have still to hear any response or even acknowlegement of our communication from metroPCS.

metroPCS Sponsors Murder Music

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2008

metropcs.jpgOn Saturday an event took place in Tampa featuring Beenie Man, an artist known for lyrics that advocate murdering gay men and women. We contacted Anheiser-Busch to ask about their sponsorship of the event. Anheiser-Busch has acknowledged our concern and is in the process of investigating.

Another sponsor, metroPCS, has not given us the courtesy of indicating that they had received our complaint, much less given us any sense that they are treating this seriously. Today I sent the following email to metroPCS:

To: Diane McKenna
Director of Advertising & Brand Management

Dear Ms. McKenna,

On February 4, 2008, I emailed you inquiring about metroPCS’ sponsorship of music and lyrics that endorse the murder of gay men.

Specifically, I was concerned about an event two days ago in Tampa called Wild Splash which featured Beenie Man. This artist has a long history of homophobia in his lyrics, including “I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays” and “Hang lesbians with a long piece of rope” and “Take a bazooka and kill gay men” (in Jamaican Patois).

I have not received any response from you or metroPCS about this concern. Can you please clarify if you have any policies in place that would address linking your name and logo to music that calls for murdering gay men and women?

Thank you,

Timothy Kincaid
www.boxturtlebulletin.com

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