Gays Protest Against Grammy Nominee
A coalition of gay activist groups has called on Neil Portnow, the president of the Recording Academy to speak out at Sunday night's Grammy Awards against music "that promotes or celebrates violence against any group of people and the artists who perform such music." In a full-page ad appearing in Daily Variety , the group in particular took aim at reggae singer Buju Banton, who has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category. It observed that Banton in his music has urged that gays be shot in the head or burned. "It's outrageous that the Recording Academy has chosen to honor, with a Grammy nomination, someone who proudly and unabashedly performs music that glorifies the violent murder of gay and transgender people," Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), said in the ad. Responding to an earlier statement by Portnow that "artists of a variety of political or cultural perspectives have been nominated or featured on the telecast," L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean said, "Music that promotes the violent murder of LGBT people, or any other group, doesn't reflect a political or cultural perspective. It reflects hatred and fosters a culture of violence."