Apr 8, 2008

iTunes.ca pulls Buju Banton, Elephant Man and TOK songs for being Homophobic

iTunes Canada has removed several songs it claimed to be laced with anti-gay lyrics from its online store, in response to a campaign led by Egale and Stop Murder Music. The songs — by Jamaican dancehall artists Buju Banton, Elephant Man and TOK — contain lyrics that advocate the killing of gays.

"iTunes is exercising its corporate responsibility by pulling this murder music and raising the bar for other retailers and distributors to do the same," says Akim Larcher, founder of SMM. He calls iTune's decision a victory for the gay community in Canada and in the Caribbean

iTunes has also gone a step further by removing entire albums that contain the offending songs, not just the songs themselves. Elephant Man's track Log On contains the lyrics "Dance wi a dance and a bun out a freaky man" (Join our dance and let's burn out the queer man). The album of the same name can't be downloaded on iTunes, but all of Elephant Man's other albums are available.

"We are extremely pleased with this decision," says Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada, "we have also contacted HMV, Archambault Inc, and Amazon.ca and we are optimistic that they will follow iTunes lead."

Last year, SMM was able to force the cancellation of shows in Ontario by dancehall artists Sizzla, Elephant Man, Capleton, Baby Cham and Beenie Man.

The lyric controversy ignited some debate about censorship and freedom of expression.

SOURCE: www.xtra.ca

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