Capleton Not Coming to SF; Santa Cruz Protests

SF's Reggae in the Park Not the Only Event to Avoid Homophobic Reggae Artists

On September 13th, organizers of San Francisco's Reggae In The Park announced that they dropped a controversial Jamaican singer following complaints from queer activists in SF and beyond. In some of Capleton's lyrics, he has espoused hanging, drowning, burning, or shooting gays. Capleton issued an apology to San Franciso gays in an effort to head off a threatened demonstration. Organizers of the event apparently agreed with protesters, decided that he would be disinvited to perform. Capleton was scheduled to be one of the headline acts at Reggae in the Park, which is a fundraiser for Global Exchange to be held in Sharon Meadow on October 2nd and 3rd. Instead, during that weekend, Capleton has made plans to head to Santa Cruz for a concert at the popular nightclub Catalyst. Gay activists there vowed to protest the concert of the Jamaican native. They are calling for public pressure in advance of the concert, and if this fails, protest on Sunday, October 3rd. Santa Cruz Indymedia Report

San Francisco is not the only city in which a Capleton show has been cancelled. An October 4th concert in West Hollywood was cancelled, and an October 11th (national coming out day) show at the New Orleans House of Blues was called off. Report from Chicago Anti-Bashing Network Earlier this month the organizers of Britain's urban music awards announced that they would rescind the nominations of reggae stars Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel, after they refused to apologize for their lyrics inciting the murder of lesbian and gay people. Capleton, Bounty Killer and Vybz Kartel were scheduled to perform at an outdoor concert in Newark, New Jersey in September. Organizers of the Reggae Festival said that they required that the three sign contracts that state that they will not perform songs which promote hatred toward gays. Another reggae singer associated with anti-gay lyrics, Beenie Man, is currently on a US tour that has been marked by almost daily announcements of cancellations after concert halls and organizers were made aware of the nature of the singer's lyrics. London's first-ever Reggae in the Park was cancelled due to security risks related to negative publicity about reggae in the press in London.

365gay.com reports that in May, Amnesty International stated that at a reggae concert in Jamaica, Capleton and other performers "sang almost exclusively about gay men. Using the derogatory terms for gay men - "chi chi men" or ‘battybwoys’ - they urged the audience to ‘kill dem, battybwoys haffi dead, gun shots pon dem. Who want to see dem dead, put up his hand’". Amnesty International Launches Global Action to Combat Homophobic Violence in Jamaica

Amnesty International's Music for Human Rights Sexual Prejudice-Related Definitions GLAAD's Dancehall & Anti-Gay Hate Lyrics Page

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