Update below original post:
If everyone speaks up, you start to make a lot of noise!
In response to calls for the company to pull its sponsorship from the homophobic and violent rappers upcoming U.S. tour (first mentioned here on our blog), Live Nation just announced it is canceling all of their Buju Banton shows!
Live Nation, which operates the House of Blues franchise, issued this statement:
LIVE NATION CANCELS BUJU BANTON CONCERTS
LOS ANGELES, CA – August 27, 2009 Live Nation announced today it has cancelled all previously scheduled concerts by Buju Banton. These include:
10/01/09 House of Blues Chicago, 10/15/09 House of Blues Las Vegas, 10/20/09 House of Blues Dallas, 10/22/09 House of Blues Houston
I also just got an e-mail from AEG's head, Randy Phillips, letting me know that they are "dealing with this now." AEG is sponsoring Banton's shows in other cities, including Los Angeles.
If you feel inclined, be sure to keep voicing your concerns over AEG's support!
AEG has also canceled all Buju Banton concerts promoted by their company! The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center issued the following statement:
Victory! AEG Live and Live Nation Silence Murder Music Tour,
Cancel Buju Banton Concerts
Performances by “Faggots Must Die” Singer Canceled in Los Angeles,
San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Dallas and Houston
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 28, 2009—AEG Live/Goldenvoice (producer of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival) and Live Nation, parent company of House of Blues, all announced last night that they have canceled their respective concerts by Buju Banton. The cancellations followed a huge outcry from people all over the country, angry that these companies were promoting a singer whose lyrics glorify the murder of gay people.
Banton was to perform at Los Angeles’ Nokia Club (Oct. 14), in San Francisco (Oct. 10), Philadelphia (Sept. 12) and at the House of Blues in: Chicago (Oct. 1), Las Vegas (Oct. 15), Dallas (Oct. 20) and Houston (Oct. 22).
“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,” said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean. “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.”
Hours after the Center issued a news release yesterday morning and launched a Facebook group: “Cancel Shows for ‘Faggots Must Die’ Singer,” hundreds responded with phone calls and email messages to the companies and signed the Center’s online petition, demanding that AEG Live/Goldenvoice and Live Nation cancel the concerts. Gay Liberation Network, based in Chicago, had been protesting against Live Nation for a week.
Through his music, Banton promotes a culture of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, singing in his most notorious song “Boom, Bye Bye” that “faggots get up and run” when he comes, that “they have to die,” and that he will shoot them in the head or “burn them up bad.”
“In his home country of Jamaica, Banton and his fellow performers of ‘murder music,’ have helped to create and sustain a culture in which violence against LGBT people is not only tolerated, it’s sometimes celebrated,” said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean. “The Center is an ardent supporter of free speech and artistic expression, but we cannot – and will not – tolerate speech in any form that promotes violence against LGBT people.”
In 2004 the House of Blues responded to pressure from the Center and the LGBT community, eventually canceling a concert at its West Hollywood venue by Capleton, a reggae singer who also promoted violence against gay people. And just a year later, the company eventually agreed to cancel a West Hollywood concert by Sizzla, a performer who sang lyrics that included: “I go and shoot queers.”