(Source andPOP) – An AIDS benefit concert scheduled for Tuesday (July 18) in New York City has been cancelled after gay activists protested against two of the performers.
Activists said the two reggae artists, Beenie Man and T.O.K., perform music that includes violent anti-gay lyrics.
Lifebeat, the concert organizer, said in a statement that the event was cancelled because of the "possibility of violence … from the firestorm incited by a select group of activists."
Beenie Man is outraged that the concert was scrapped.
"I am kind of getting really fed up because they came down on us two years ago, trying to take some songs we sang like 10 or 15 years ago, and try to say okay we push (anti-homosexuality)," he told andPOP, speaking out for the first time since the concert was cancelled.
Beenie Man said that the situation is different in Jamaica, but he has apologized for his anti-gay lyrics.
"We come out, we’re doing a campaign called no violence for no one," he said. "We did all of this for the gay community. We’re not gay but we are supporting these people’s movements because people is people."
The benefit concert was supposed to raise awareness for AIDS, a cause he feels is very important. Beenie Man compared silencing his music to terrorism.
"We going to take this terrorism seriously and you don’t want that. You don’t want some Jamaican artist saying, ‘we cannot go nowhere.’ It becomes very annoying," he said.
Beenie Man was quick to point out that he hasn’t seen a response to anti-gay remarks in other media, such as film or comedy, the way the response is when anti-gay remarks are in music.
"What they are doing is wrong," he said. "Yeah, we hurt you, we agree. We came and apologized. What more do they want?"