Prominent Dancehall superstar, Beenie Man can’t seem to shake off the pressure brought on by the LGBT community despite … his best efforts as yet another gay rights group targets one of his upcoming shows in the United States.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Queer Humboldt organization staged a peaceful protest while attending Beenie Man’s show at the Ocean Grove Lodge in northern California. The gay rights group insisted that they were not trying to stop the show from proceeding, but wanted to educate Beenie Man and others about tolerance.
However, a new gay rights group, the Gay Liberation Network (GLN), has decided to turn up the heat on the ‘King of the Dancehall,’ demanding that Beenie Man’s show at The Shrine in Chicago be cancelled due to the Grammy-winning entertainer’s past remarks about homosexuals.
In a letter issued by GLN, the group stated, “I wish it were possible to say that this artist performs music that is simply engaging entertainment with a great beat and sometimes gritty lyrics. Sadly, this is not the case due to Beenie Man’s history of frequent calls for violence against gays and lesbians. Such calls are anything but ‘entertainment’ when directed against a vulnerable and oppressed minority.”
Though Beenie Man issued a video statement earlier this year in which he expressed that he had no animosity towards homosexuals, the Gay Liberation Network isn’t buying it. They suggest Beenie Man’s peaceful gesture was hollow and demand a meeting with organizers of the event in Chicago.
“Because of his advocacy of violence toward our people and his checkered and inconsistent relationship to the global LGBT community, we respectfully request that management of The Shrine show its respect for our community and rescind its offer to have Beenie Man perform at its venue. We would be happy to sit down with you to discuss this matter further.”
The event at The Shrine will take place on November 22 and is being promoted by Ephraim Martin, head of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA).