Protests over hate lyrics lead to another reggae concert cancellation
House of Blues cancels Capleton concert in New Orleans
Capleton's House of Blues shows in New Orleans and West Hollywood, Calif., have been canceled as dancehall artists come under fire from activists over lyrics that call for violence against gays and lesbians.
Dancehall reggae star Capleton is facing increasing protests over some of his songs that encourage violence against gays. Los Angeles-based House of Blues on Thursday canceled a performance by Capleton at its New Orleans venue, scheduled for October 11--National Coming Out Day. A day earlier the company canceled his show set for Monday at its nightclub on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Capleton's San Francisco concert, scheduled for Sunday, was also canceled. Instead, Capleton planned to head to Santa Cruz for a concert at the popular nightclub Catalyst. Gay activists there vowed to protest the concert of the Jamaican native, whose lyrics have suggested gays be hanged, drowned, burned, or shot. Among his songs is one with the Jamaican-dialect lyrics "Bun Out Di Chi Chi," which translates to "burn out the gay man."
Capleton said he is not advocating violence against homosexuals but told the Santa Cruz Sentinel in a telephone interview that homosexuality is "against humanity. It's against your mother, it's against your father, it's against yourself." He said when he sings of fire, he is referring to a spiritual fire. Eddy Dees, a house manager at Catalyst, said the club had no plan to cancel the concert. Earlier this week the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center wrote a letter to the House of Blues urging the company to cancel Monday's concert in West Hollywood, which has a large gay population. In response the club tried to create a forum in which the center, city leaders, and Capleton could "resolve the interpretation of certain song lyrics," House of Blues spokesman Jack Gannon said in a statement. Capleton, who is on tour, was unable to attend, Gannon said, and the concert was canceled "out of respect for the community." (AP)