A year after heeding calls from Egale and Stop Murder Music Canada to ditch dancehall acts with anti-?gay lyrics, Kool Haus has announced plans to book rude boy Beenie Man, another taget of gay groups.
Club owner Charles Khabouth defended the booking recently during a radio interview on Proud-?FM, saying, “Everyone has their own opinion, and I have to make the right decision.”
A different tune than the one Khabouth was singing last year when dates for Elephant Man and Sizzla were yanked. At the time, he said, “Had I been aware of the nature of the lyrics, I would not have allowed the booking.”
During a break in the show, Proud-?FM host Shaun Proulx tells NOW he’s flummoxed.
“You’d think they wouldn’t touch these types of acts, just based on all the queer dollars they’re jeopardizing in the future.” That’s no small amount, given the gay-?positive events held at Kool Haus.
SMM founder Akim Larcher of Egale says he’s “disgusted” by the turn, especially because of recent gains in the orgs’ boycott efforts. iTunes and Archambault Musique have agreed to pull distribution of dancehall acts known for their anti-?gay lyrics, although HMV has dug in its heels. The screws are also being put on Amazon.ca.
A long-?awaited response from the Jamaican government to Egale’s concerns about constitutional protection for gays in that country finally arrived in May from Consul General Ann-?Marie Bonner.
Bonner offered no assurances, but for now, says Larcher, calls for a tourism boycott of Jamaica have been put on ice. “We’re encouraged and satisfied with the dialogue,” he says.