Dancehall superstar Moses 'Beenie Man' Davis has made his stance on the gay/lesbian community and anti-gay lyrics clear through a recent video message which was broadcast by organisers of Rototom Sunsplash, a major European reggae festival which takes place every summer in Spain. Beenie Man is booked to appear at the festival.
In the 1 minute 35 second long message, Beenie Man addresses the topics which has over the years been affecting several Jamaican entertainers. The most recent occurrence of such being with Sizzla Kalonji being bombarded with gay rights protests while overseas on tour.
Beenie Man made it clear in his address saying that he has nothing against them and respects everyone regardless of their sexual orientation.
"Listen to what I have to say. Let me make this clear and straight. I have nothing against no one. I respect each and every human being, regardless of which race or creed, regardless of which religious belief you believe in, and regardless of which sexual preference you are, including gays and lesbian people," he said. He went on to say that he has respect for all human beings and that the grouse with the gay/lesbian community is coming from songs he did a long time ago when he was "young".
"Do not fight against me for some songs I did 20 years ago. There is no one in this world who is the same person as how they were 20 years ago, me know I'm not. I was a kid and I come from Waterhouse ... I never know what the world is like and what the world is all about. But now I know that people live in this world that live their life differently from my life. I still have to respect and love human beings," said Beenie Man.
A post on the festival's website read: Rototom Sunsplash (http://www.rototomsunsplash.com) has received and is happy to publish a video message of Beenie Man in which he wishes to clear out any doubt about his position concerning homophobic lyrics appeared in some of his old songs.
We would like to think that his words can put an end to all the controversies that the subject has generated. This video reaches after a journey that Rototom has started in 2005 and which has seen us committed to bringing to the Sunsplash only those artistes who respect and accept all people, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.
In 2007, this position has lead us to draw up the Reggae Compassionate Act, an agreement that was supported by reggae promoters and activists of Stop Murder Music and signed, among others, by Beenie Man. In the agreement, the artiste committed himself not to sing or make public statement in Jamaica or any other country in the world, that could encourage prejudice, hatred or violence against gay or lesbian people. Beenie Man is part of the 2012 Sunsplash line-up, because we believe in his change and his detachment from homophobic positions, as demonstrated on this video. On Rototom Sunsplash's YouTube page, fans of the entertainer have been voicing mixed views on the issue. Some label Beenie Man as "sell out" with one person saying that he should stay true to who he is and not advocate for something if he doesn't agree.
"I agree with Beenie Man, however, he was free to talk about issues and the state of his culture at any given time. Furthermore, music has NO RULES, just ART. If this is about homosexuals, then they just need to not listen to his OLD songs or any music against them ... ," read one such comment.
The Rototom Sunsplash is one of the biggest international reggae festivals. It imitates the Jamaican Reggae Sunsplash and since its inception in 1994, has drawn thousands of reggae passionate people with its exciting line-ups.
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