A Jamaican reggae star, whom gay rights activists accuse of promoting homophobia, canceled a performance in London on Saturday as one group demanded that criminal charges be brought against him, Agence France-Presse reports. The promoter for Bounty Killer's gig at the Rex nightclub in Stratford, east London, insisted that the cancellation had nothing to do with protests by the gay rights group OutRage! But the group's spokesman, Peter Tatchell, claimed it was almost certain that
the singer, whose real name is Rodney Price, had "chickened out" under pressure. "This is a fantastic victory over homophobia," said Tatchell, who has called for a criminal prosecution of Bounty Killer, claiming four of his songs encourage violence against gay men and lesbians. "Bounty Killer has chickened out and dared not show his face. He knows what he is doing is wrong, and he is terrified of facing a gay rights protest. His macho bravado is in ruins."
Sheldon Atkinson, events manager at the Rex nightclub, said the cancellation was due to Bounty Killer missing his flight from Jamaica. Atkinson added that when performances in Britain looked set to go ahead, police had said they would talk to Bounty Killer before he went onstage and warn him to "keep his lyrical content down." Four Bounty Killer tracks call for gay people to be burned, drowned, wiped out, stoned, and murdered, Tatchell said.