Beenie Man offers apology for his homophobic lyrics

A Jamaican reggae singer famous for homophobic lyrics such as "I'm a dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays" has issued his "sincerest apologies" for his lyrics. But his apology has been dismissed as a stunt.

A Jamaican reggae singer famous for homophobic lyrics such as "I'm a dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays" has issued his "sincerest apologies" for his lyrics. But his apology has been dismissed as a stunt.

The singer, Beenie Man, recently had to scrap a London appearance after he was spoken to by police, following complaints from gay and lesbian group Outrage!

The 31-year-old, whose real name is Anthony Moses Davies, has now promised to renounce violence towards others, in a statement issued through his record company Virgin.

But Outrage! says it is just an attempt to "save his career from collapse".

Beenie Man's statement said: "It has come to my attention that certain lyrics and recordings I have made in the past may have caused distress and outrage among people whose identities and lifestyles are different from my own.

"While my lyrics are very personal, I do not write them with the intent of purposefully hurting or maligning others, and I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs.

"As a human being, I renounce violence towards other human beings in every way, and pledge henceforth to uphold these values as I move forward in my career as an artist."

Brett Lock, a campaigner at Outrage!, which has been attacking the singer for years, said: "Beenie Man's so-called apology is so vague that it does not even mention what he is apologising for.

"It could be an apology for anything. It contains no explicit regret for his incitements to murder gay people, and no specific affirmation of his respect for homosexuals and homosexual human rights."

Another activist from Outrage!, Peter Tatchell, questioned whether Beenie Man's apology might have anything to do with a planned visit to the UK to promote an album which is due out on 16 August.

Outrage! said it would continue its campaign against Beenie Man because he had not withdrawn the offending songs.

"His apology rings hollow when he is still making money from his incitements to kill homosexuals," added Mr Lock.

Earlier this year, a concert scheduled at the Ocean Club at Hackney was cancelled amid concern it could incite violence against gays.

Beenie Man was questioned by police about his song lyrics, which discuss murdering gay men and women.

In one of his songs, "Mi Nah Wallah", Beenie Man suggests that he would like to cut all gay men's throats.

He has recorded another: "Bad Man Chi Chi Man" (Bad Man Queer Man), instructing listeners to kill gay disc jockeys. And another song, "Han Up Deh" suggests hanging lesbian women with a long piece of rope.

When Beenie Man was due visit London after he was nominated for a Mobo award last year, gay rights activists called on police to arrest him and two other reggae stars, Bounty Killer and Elephant Man, then because their lyrics allegedly incited the murder of gays and lesbians.

Outrage! said last week: "In a free society, Beenie Man has a right to criticise homosexuality. But he does not have a right to advocate the killing of lesbians and gay men."

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