Beenie Disavows Prejudiced Statements Of Youth
But, truth be told, the allegations of homophobia have dogged Beenie Man as a performer for over a decade now. Gay rights groups – especially in the
United States – have been forcing promoters to cancel his shows since the early aughts. It’s affected him big time, and stopped his ascension to status
as a marquee entertainment name. In 2012 – he made this statement to appease his critics. It’s relevant now in Belize, and we air it mostly unedited:…
Today local promoter Troy Flowers, professionally known as DJ Dalla wasn’t quite so contrite. He said in a statement today, quote,
“Stop trying to fight and stifle the entertainment industry…it's a growing industry that puts food on many tables….
What if an artist sing vulgar music? That's his or her business! You don't have to support the music you don't like… When it's convenient for you, you
want to book us for your parties, events etc. and then it's all fine cause you have Mr. Top Artist/Dj at your event! Yes, when it's convenient to you
because you have some self given right to more or better than the rest of us Belizeans.”
He closes, quote
“Back off! Leave us to live and eat, we have enough challenges as it is AND we're not doing anything illegal...”
Hon. Lisa Vs. Bobby & Beenie
Yesterday, we told you about the letter that attorney Lisa Shoman wrote to the promoters of the Bobby Chin Birthday Bash Concert, which will take place
at Cahal Pech Resort on October 18.
The promoters will bring in Jamaican Dancehall Superstar Beenie Man as the headline event, but UNIBAM is demanding that all artists put on a clean show
for the concert-goers. The organizations says that Beenie Man or Bobby Chin may, quote, "...make statements/sing, and/or perform lyrics and acts that
incite, the murder of His Holiness the Pope, incite and advocate the hate/harm or murder of LGBT persons and promote harm and/or forcible sexual acts
against women (and) girls…." End quote.
Today we asked Shoman, to explain the legal basis for what, essentially, is censorship:
Lisa Shoman, Attorney UNIBAM
"It's not about gay people, it's about violence. This addresses violent lyrics and the violence can be expressed towards the police, it could be
expressed about the pope, it could be expressed about women, it could be expressed about gay people. So the focus is not the LGBT community, it is a
call for there to be no violence, no violent lyrics song, no violence expressed and I think that is a reasonable call. It is not censorship because
UNIBAM is not asking for anybody to be censored. It is not saying that Beenie Man shouldn't come, it's not saying Bobby Chin should not come. It is
saying come, but we don't want you to sing violent lyrics, we don't want you to express sentiments like, bun this one, bun that one, this one needs a
piece of rope. It shouldn't be said about the police, about the women or about LGBT persons. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. UNIBAM as an
organisation expressed it's opinion and it has not sought to go to court first. It as made the request and if we get the under taking, written or
verbal, we will gratefully accept that under taking. If we don't, then the organisation has said it will reserve it's right, including the right
without notice to go for an injunction. That decision has not yet been made, but it will be studied if that isn't forth coming."
"What about the fans of the artists, what about their position that they might like this artist and like the songs that he sings. Whether violent or
not or whether it perpetrates violence against the pope, police or gay people. What do you say to that?"
"Here's the thing, I like Beenie Man. They are members of UNIBAM who really like Beenie Man. It's not about liking the artist, it isn't even about
entertainment. What it is, you are not allowed by law to say or sing or express things that call for violence against anyone, that insight people to
violence. I would like all promoters to know, that I do not believe that any of them wish to make their living by promoting or advocating violence. So
this isn't against promoters. Every responsible promoter in this country has to obey the law and the law is very clear about inciting, advocating or
As we've told you, UNIBAM wants an undertaking, written or verbal that they performers will give that clean show or else they will go to the Supreme
Court to get an injunction to block them from having the concert.
The promoters have invested thousands of dollars to get the concert to happen, and as you have guessed, they are not happy with this move. Even though
UNIBAM's attorney says that it's not an attempt at censorship, they assert that it is.
Today, we caught up with Bobby Chin, the man who's throwing the event for his birthday. He says that he had intentions of putting on a clean show, so
he didn't need UNIBAM to pressure him:
Robert Lee ak.a Bobby Chin "Black Chiney"
"I did read the letter and was disappointed. Somethings were said in the letter that's outrageous. She said something about me killing the pope, me
inciting violence against police and that I want to kill gays. Nothing like that is true. If I have an event, I have to hire police, so what am I going
to do, hire them and kill them? That doesn't make any sense, first of all. The pope, I can't kill the pope, not even the whole of Belize together
couldn't kill the pope, he's a very powerful man. I'm anglican and he's catholic. I've never ever said anything bad about the pope. Now as far as gays,
why would I kill a gay? That is their beliefs, my beliefs might be different but i'm not a violent person, it just upsets me."
"They're demanding a clean show from you, a legal undertaking or else they trying to go to court to block you from doing that performance. Are you
going to abide? Or are you going to ignore it?"
"I'm going to ignore it, I'm going to abide by my rules. My rule from day one, I told every sound this, if you come to my birthday party and you play a
bad word or you play anything against any group, you're not going to get paid. That's just my rule, I'm use to these things from long time. I have
corporate sponsors and I respect the sponsors them. They never ask me to do it, but every birthday party I do, I have my little rules. I've been in
Europe before, you know in Europe you cannot play certain songs. In Jamaica where i'm from, Red stripe have a contract that you sign before you play at
any party if you working for red stripe. It says you can't play any songs about any group whether religious, sexual, what ever. So we're use to these
"Beenie Man has written songs which have been inflammatory in the past. What's your reaction to them, presenting as evidence why your show should not
"I have about several girl friends in the past that cheated on me. Should I disrespect them now? That is in the past, what a man does in his past, as
long as he changes it. Beenie Man has songs that are little bit on the other side but that is in the past. About 2 years ago he made a video to clear
up all of that. So you can watch that video. I could keep a birthday party in my house and have a little piñata and make Beenie Man come and beat the
piñata and still someone would have a problem."
"The letter, will you respond?"
"I won't respond to the letter, but I'll invite Lisa Shoman for lunch, I'll pay for it and we can talk about things. They didn't have to go around and
send a letter to everyone in the country because that will not effect Bobby Chin."