President and Chief Executive Officer
Live Nation, Inc.
9348 Civic Center Drive
Beverly Hills, Calif., 90210
Dear Mr. Rapino:
Hopefully, you are aware that Live Nation/House of Blues has booked Buju Banton for a nationwide tour, including a Chicago stop Oct. 1. Banton is one of a handful of performers whose output has been labeled "murder music" for openly advocating the murder of lesbians and gays in the lyrics of their music.
House of Blues has faced protests before against its sponsorship of anti-gay "murder music"; yet, it apparently persists in thinking that LGBT people should "tolerate" those who call for murdering us.
House of Blues/Live Nation would never book Buju Banton or any performer who advocated killing African Americans or Jews, and rightfully so. Why, then, is it okay for House of Blues to hire a musician who calls for murdering lesbians and gays? Why the double standard?
When Live Nation purchased House of Blues several years ago, we wrote to your corporate office asking that reggae dancehall "murder musicians" like Banton not be booked unless and until these performers renounce their past behavior and promise no more murderous lyrics going forward. Banton first signed and then repudiated such an agreement. This is particularly an issue in his native Jamaica, where gays face a living hell due, in part, to performers like Banton who stoke the flames of an already dangerous situation by singing their murderous music.
Perhaps his most notorious "kill gays" song is "Boom, Bye Bye" in which Banton describes shooting "battyman" ( slang for a gay man ) in the head, sometimes with an Uzi, an automatic weapon.
We call upon Live Nation management to do the right thing and cancel the Buju Banton tour. We will credit your company with the appropriate corporate response to irrational and murderous hostility toward lesbian and gay people. Should Live Nation not cancel Banton's tour, you will offer us no alternative but to go forward with plans to protest in as many cities as possible, including Chicago.
Gay Liberation Network