GLAAD and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center have placed a full-page ad in today’s special Grammy-edition of Variety that calls on Recording Academy President Neil Portnow to use Sunday’s Grammy Awards telecast to speak out against lyrics and artists that promote bias-motivated violence.
The ad is in the form of an open letter signed by 20 other progressive organizations, including People for the American Way, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the New York LGBT Community Center.
The open letter comes in response to anti-gay reggae singer Buju Banton’s nomination for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category. Throughout his career, Banton has performed music that glorifies the violent murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and as recently as three months ago Banton refused to stop performing such music.
In his most notorious song, “Boom, Bye Bye,” Banton sings that “batty men” (a slur equivalent to ‘fa**ot’) “have to die” and that he will “shoot batty men in the head” or “burn them up bad.”
“It’s outrageous that The Recording Academy has chosen to honor, with a Grammy nomination, someone who proudly and unabashedly performs music that glorifies the violent murder of gay and transgender people,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “We need to send a strong message to let the Recording Academy and music industry know that promoting artists who advocate such acts feeds a climate of intolerance that can put members of our community at risk for violence.”
Join GLAAD and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center in calling on Recording Academy President Neil Portnow to use Sunday’s Grammy Award celebration to denounce songs and artists that promote bias-motivated violence.