Denmark: Controversy over Jamaican reggae star’s concert

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Denmark / Jamaica:
Controversy over reggae star’s concert in Copenhagen

Prior to his concert in Copenhagen on 19 October 2009 reggae star Sizzla was quoted in a Danish newspaper interview as confirming his anti-homosexual viewpoints. Because of this the local music venue where the concert was about to take place threatened to cancel it, and in the medai, several city council politicians called to cancel the concert.

According to an interview with the Danish Politiken newspaper, Sizzla was saying he only signed the Reggae Compassionate Act so he could continue performing in Europe.

The Reggae Compassionate Act is a document which states that musicians must not encourage or contribute to homophobia and violent expression in their recorded music or while onstage.

Sizzla Kalonji (real name: Miguel Orlando Collins) has previously, through his song lyrics, urged people to kill homosexuals.

“No one can stop me from telling people what I believe is right. I just don’t do it officially anymore,” he said in the Politken interview.

Council-funded concert hall
Copenhagen Social Democratic Councillor Lars Aslan Rasmussen was attempting to get Copenhagen City Council to stop the concert because it was a council-funded concert hall.

“Over the summer we have been told that the number of hate crimes has exploded in Copenhagen – so a publicly-funded concert hall such as Pumpehuset should not allow a concert by a declared homophobic musician,” Lars Aslan Rasmussen told Politiken.

The manager of the venue Pumpehuset, Christian Langballe, said that Sizzla must publicly renounce his anti-gay position or the concert would be cancelled.

Two days after the newspaper had been published, Sizzla eventually issued a statement indicating his quotes had been ‘misconstrued’.

The concert was held, and he didn’t play any of his anti-gay songs or make any anti-gay statements on stage.

Homosexuality forbidden
According to the Copenhagen Post, homosexuality is forbidden by law in Jamaica and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.



 Poster from
 Sizzla’s
 European
 tour 2009


This story in Danish language

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Google News – continuously updated:

Search: ‘Sizzla’
Search: ‘Reggae Compassionate Act’

Sources

Politiken – 16 October 2009:

‘Councillor seeks Sizzla cancellation’

Copenhagen Post – 16 October 2009:

‘Anti-gay reggae singer performing in Cph’

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