Gay rights group urges boycott of Mobo awards

The gay pressure group Outrage! said last night it would lobby the BBC to abandon plans to broadcast Britain's biggest black music awards ceremony because it "rewarded" artists who promote homophobia.

The gay pressure group Outrage! said last night it would lobby the BBC to abandon plans to broadcast Britain's biggest black music awards ceremony because it "rewarded" artists who promote homophobia.

Outrage! said it would call on David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, to issue an exclusion order against two Jamaican reggae artists who have been nominated for a prize at the Music of Black Origin (Mobo) awards, which are due to take place at the Royal Albert Hall next month.

Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel are among eight reggae artists whose material has been investigated by Scotland Yard over claims that their lyrics incite violence against gay people. The Crown Prosecution Service is considering whether the performance or the promotion of the material might constitute a criminal offence.

Elephant Man had a hit in Jamaica with "We Nuh Like Gay", which includes the lyric: "Battyman fi dead! Tek dem by surprise." Another song "A Nuh Fi Wi Fault" says: "Shoot [gays] like birds".

Vybz Kartel, a rising star on the reggae scene, has recorded "Bedroom Slaughteration", with patois lyrics - "Bow cat, sodomite, batty man fi gat assassination (Yeah) Oral sexer, lesbian and queer must be assassinated (Yeah)" - that translate as "lesbians and queers must be assassinated".

Peter Tatchell, the spokesman for Outrage!, said: "By accepting the nomination of Vybz Kartel and Elephant Man, the Mobos are rewarding singers who incite the murder of lesbians and gay men."

The development comes in spite of meetings between the London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, the Metropolitan Police, gay rights groups and the Mobo organisers before the release of the nominations.

Reports yesterday had wrongly suggested that the artists involved in the Scotland Yard inquiry (the others are Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, TOK, Capleton and Sizzla) would be the subject of an exclusion by the Mobos.

Outrage! said it will write to Mark Thompson, the director general of the BBC, asking for the cancellation of the broadcast of the event on 30 September.

The Mobos issued a statement yesterday expressing its opposition to homophobia. It said: "Mobo's position has been clear from the outset ... they do not condone homophobic lyrics in any way and strongly emphasised to voters for the awards on their ballot forms that the Mobos don't support music that clearly incite violence toward gay people."

It said the ceremony's stance had been a reason why Beenie Man had not been nominated. Kanya King, the founder of the Mobos, said the decision to exclude Beenie Man but include Elephant Man was a matter for its "academy" of music promoters, DJs and record industry workers who selected the nominees.

She acknowledged that Beenie Man had previously been nominated in the awards but said: "A lot of people, even British Jamaicans, had no idea what was in those lyrics."

Peter Hunnigale, a leading British reggae artist, criticised the Mobo academy for ignoring other successful reggae artists who promote a positive message in their material. "Where is Beres Hammond?" he asked. "Why doesn't Beres get an award when he is one of reggae's biggest icons?"

The controversy overshadowed the awards nominations in which the American rapper and hip-hop producer Kanye West was shortlisted for a record seven awards.

THE NOMINATIONS

Best R&B Act Alicia Keys; Beyoncé; Brandy; Lemar; Usher

Best Hip Hop G-Unit; Jay-Z; Kanye West; Outkast; Twista

Best Video Jamelia, 'See It In A Boy's Eyes'; Jay-Z, '99 Problems'; Kanye West, 'All Falls Down'; Kelis, 'Milkshake'; Ludacris, 'Stand Up'; Usher, 'Yeah'

Best Jazz Act Amy Winehouse; Jamie Cullum; Keb Mo; Norah Jones; Denys Baptiste

Best Reggae Single Sean Paul, 'Like Glue'; Vybz Kartel, 'Picture This'; Elephant Man, 'Jook Gal'; Toots & the Maytals, 'True Love'

Best Producer Kanye West; R Kelly; Timbaland; The Neptunes; Wiley

Best World Music Act Angelique Kidjo; Bebel Gilberto; Cesaria Evora; Youssou N'Dour; Daara J

Best Collaboration 2 Play feat. Raghav & Jucxi, 'So Confused'; Brandy & Kanye West, 'Talk About Our Love'; Marques Houston & Joe Budden, 'Clubbin''; Twista & Kanye West, 'Slow Jamz'; Usher & Ludacris, 'Yeah'

Best Single Jamelia, 'Thank You'; Kanye West, 'All Falls Down'; Mario Winans, 'I Don't Wanna Know'; Outkast, 'Hey Ya!'; Usher, 'Burn'

Best Album Alicia Keys, The Diary Of Alicia Keys; Jay-Z, Black Album; Joss Stone, Soul Sessions; Kanye West, College Dropout; Outkast, Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below; Usher, Confessions

Best Radio DJ Ace & Invisible (1Xtra); Gilles Peterson (R1); Jigs (Choice); Semtex (1Xtra); Shortee Blitz & Big Ted (Kiss); Spoony (R1); Steve Sutherland (Galaxy); Tim Westwood (R1); Trevor Nelson (R1); Zane Lowe (R1)

Best Club DJ Manny Norte; Matt White; Panjabi Hit Squad; Shortee Blitz; Steve Sutherland; Westwood; Rampage

UK Act of the Year Amy Winehouse; Dizzee Rascal; Jamelia; Lemar; Joss Stone; The Streets

Best Newcomer Estelle; Gemma Fox; Shystie; Taz; Wiley

Best Ringtone Black Eyed Peas, 'Where Is The Love?'; Eamon, 'F It'; Mario Winans, 'I Don't Wanna Know'; Outkast, 'Hey Ya!'; Usher, 'Yeah'

Best Gospel Act Fred Hammond; Michelle Williams; Siani; Raymond & Co

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Publishing

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Report Writer / Reporting Analyst

£25 - 30k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Report Writer / Reporting Analyst is nee...

Guru Careers: German Speaking Account Manager / Account Executive

£24-30K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A German speaking Account Manager ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own