Jamaican reggae star Sizzla, already controversial because of his lyrics attacking gays, was sent to prison for two weeks on Wednesday after being convicted of using profane language. Sizzla, whose real name is Miguel Collins, was told to serve 15 days in prison by a magistrate who said that he was determined to stop artists and entertainers from using profanity. Sizzla was charged with using expletives onstage under the Town and Community Act, a British colonial-era public-order law that prohibits indecent dress or expression.
Sizzla was arrested at the end of a reggae show in the eastern parish of St. Thomas on January 2. Police said that he consistently used foul language during a performance onstage, despite being warned against it. Sizzla has had several brushes with the law over his use of profanity and, like other Jamaican reggae artists Beenie Man, Buju Banton, and Shabba Ranks, has become a controversial figure because of antigay lyrics. In November, Sizzla had to cancel a concert in Britain after protests by gay rights groups who said his lyrics appeared to advocate the killing of gays and lesbians. Many Jamaican entertainers have been hauled before the courts for use of profanity in recent years. But they usually get away with a verbal warning, a suspended sentence, or a sentence to do community service.
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