October 26, 2016
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Entertainment Group Refuses to Cancel Concert of Controversial Reggae Singer


Sunset Entertainment Group Refuses to Cancel Buju Banton Concert at Cabana Club in Hollywood, Oct. 15

"Faggots. . . have to die" Sings Buju Banton, Who Has Had Concerts Around the Country Canceled

LOS ANGELES,  -- Sunset Entertainment Group, which owns and operates several Los Angeles-area night clubs, has refused requests from the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to cancel an Oct. 15 concert at the Cabana Club by Buju Banton, a reggae singer who is notorious for a song that glorifies the brutal murder of gay and lesbian people.

Live Nation had recently booked Banton to perform at the Nokia Club on Oct. 14, but that Los Angeles concert, like many others around the country, was canceled in response to an outcry from concerned citizens mobilized by emails, websites and Facebook groups created by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network and other organizations.

Through his music, Banton promotes a culture of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, singing in his most notorious song "Boom, Bye Bye" that "faggots get up and run" when he comes, that "they have to die," and that he will shoot them in the head or "burn them up bad." Banton's music has helped foster such an anti-gay culture in his home country of Jamaica -- where several prominent gay activists have been murdered -- that Time magazinerecently asked: "Is Jamaica the most homophobic place on Earth?"

"The Center has always been an ardent supporter of free speech and artistic expression, but we will not tolerate speech, in any form, that promotes violence against LGBT people," said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean. "We will also oppose any business, like the Sunset Entertainment Group and its Cabana Club, that hopes to promote and profit from 'murder musicians' like Buju Banton. It's outrageous they would even consider featuring such a performer."

Over the past several weeks Banton, who was recently videotaped saying "there is no end to the war between me and faggots," has had concerts canceled in Orlando, Tampa, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Columbus, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Detroit and several other cities. His manager Tracii McGregor responded to the cancellations with an "open letter" full of incomplete and inaccurate information, decrying LGBT groups for their "war" against Banton and for not having a "larger, more fruitful discussion that could perhaps effect real change."

The Center responded to McGregor with a letter from Jean, sent on Sept. 15, in which she invites Banton to the Center and to talk about the impact of hate speech. In it, she writes: "If Banton is truly remorseful for performing 'Boom, Bye Bye' and contributing to the anti-gay climate in Jamaica, and publicly vows to never perform the song again, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center would be happy to support an end to the boycott of his concerts." She adds, "We'd like nothing more than to have a fruitful discussion that will result in the end of such music." There has been no reply.

In addition to the Cabana Club in Hollywood, the Sunset Entertainment Group operates these Los Angeles nightclubs/restaurants: Green Door, Ritual and Pig 'n Whistle. The partners in SEG are Alan Hajjar, Chris Breed, Eric Virgets, George Nahas and the promoter is Drew Greeley.

The Center has created a web page, www.lagaycenter.org/StopHateLyrics, where the public can take action and sign a petition to stop Banton's Cabana Club concert, as well as a Facebook group: "Cancel Buju Banton's Los Angles Show!"

About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Our wide array of services and programs includes: free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts and much more. Visit us

on the Web at: www.lagaycenter.org.


SOURCE L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

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