January 29, 2010 – Today, GLAAD and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center published a full-page ad in Variety that calls on Recording Academy President Neil Portnow to use Sunday’s Grammy Awards telecast to denounce artists who promote or celebrate bias-motivated violence.
The ad, in the form of an open letter signed by 20 progressive organizations, 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.”
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Call on Recording Academy President Neil Portnow to use Sunday’s Grammy Award celebration to denounce songs and artists that promote bias-motivated violence. Tell The Recording Academy that by rewarding artists like Buju Banton with a prestigious Grammy nomination, the Academy is turning a blind eye to the promotion of hate-based violence and even murder.
Barb Deghan, VP Communications
The Recording Academy
Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations
The Recording Academy
Sometimes a case of anti-gay defamation occurs that warrants GLAAD to go beyond issuing a Call to Action and take a stronger stance for equality. Unfortunately, this happens more than a few times a year and requires the flexibility to make an investment like we’ve done by placing this ad together with the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. Your support today of $40 or more will enable GLAAD to act swiftly, when a more aggressive stance is warranted, and engage our partners in a conversation about the concrete harms caused by promoting hate and violence. Please consider making a contribution today and help GLAAD change a heart and change a mind.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
For more examples of our work, visit www.glaad.org/snapshots.