(KCPW News) A Salt Lake City club has canceled a performance by a Jamaican singer, Buju Banton, after learning about his controversial past. In a statement, the Urban Lounge told Q Salt Lake that the club was previously unaware of Banton’s anti-gay lyrics. Provo resident Ash Johnsdottir was planning on organizing a protest if Banton had performed at the Urban Lounge.
“I know that most of the Urban Lounge’s clientele are either GLBT themselves or GLBT allies, so when I found out that not only was he coming to town, but that he was headlining at the Urban Lounge, I was really shocked,” she told KCPW. “I do want to thank the Urban Lounge for doing the right thing.”
In 1988, Banton released a song called “Boom Bye Bye,” which featured violent lyrics and a derogatory Jamaican term for gay men. And in 2004, he was charged for allegedly attacking several men that he believed to be gay.
Johnsdottir says she’s not trying to limit Banton’s right to free speech, but she doesn’t want anyone to profit from hateful music.
“I nor anybody that I’ve been working wants to take away Mr. Banton’s free speech. What we do want to do, though, is make sure that private venues or nobody else, including Mr. Banton, would profit from this type of hatred,” she said.
Several other American tour dates for Banton have also been canceled, according to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. He was originally going to perform at the Urban Lounge on October 8th.