Activists picket homophobic singers at London's MOBO Awards

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 03 2002 12:00 AM ET

Activists picketed Tuesday at London's Music of Black Origin awards, protesting three singers whose songs advocate the incineration of gays, according to The [London] Guardian. Capleton, Elephant Man, and TOK, all three nominated for Best Reggae Act, have come under fire for lyrics that urge the burning, shooting, and battering to death of gays. (They all lost in that category to 21-year-old singer-songwriter Ms. Dynamite.)

Singer Capleton claims he's singing about metaphorical fires of cleansing and purity, not literal ones. "Is not really a physical fire. Is really a spiritual fire, and a wordical fire, and a musical fire," he says. "But people get it on the wrong terms. People get confused.... We come to burn for injustice and inequality and kill indignity and exploitation."

Peter Tatchell of OutRage! who organized the protest, doesn't buy that explanation: "I hope other MOBO Award nominees will publicly dissociate themselves from the homophobia of TOK, Capelton, and Elephant Man. It would be great if some MOBO winners used their acceptance speeches to make it clear that racism and homophobia have no place in popular music."