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
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
techResearchers recover 100s of nude photos from second-hand smartphones
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
peopleJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Web / Digital Analyst - Google Analytics, Omniture

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Sales Perfomance Manager. Marylebone, London

£45-£57k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

Social Media Director (Global) - London Bridge/Southwark

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Social Media Director (Gl...

Personal and Legal Assistant – Media and Entertainment

£28,000 - £31,000: Sauce Recruitment: A Global media business based in West Lo...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice