Gay rights activists have called the recording artists academy to use Sunday night’s Grammy Awards telecast to denounce music that promotes or celebrates violence against any group of people and the artists who perform such music.
In a full-age ad in Friday’s Grammy-edition of Variety, more than 20 progressive organizations, lead by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, posted an open letter to the Recording Academy’s President Neil Portnow in response to anti-gay reggae singer Buju Banton’s nomination for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category.
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Throughout his career Banton has performed music that glorifies the violent murder of LGBT people, and as recently as three months ago he refused to stop performing such music, according to a statement by GLAAD. Last October he was quoted in news reports saying, “This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs, ‘There is no end to the war between me and fa**ots.’”
The Recording Academy has said that the Grammy Awards honor musical achievement “regardless of politics” and that artists from many different political and cultural perspectives have been nominated over the years.