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Beenie Man Removed From Raggamuffin 2016 Line-Up

Beenie Man Removed From Raggamuffin 2016 Line-Up

Monday 30th November, 2015 12:40PM

Controversial reggae singer Beenie Man has been removed from the line-up for February's Raggamuffin music festival. Organisers made the decision to pull the Jamaican artist from the bill after concerns were raised by members of New Zealand's gay community pertaining to the musician's past homophobic comments and lyrics.

In a statement, festival organisers said they originally added Beenie Man to the bill as they believed he had retracted his previous sentiments. In an effort to address the current concerns they lined up a special interview between Gay NZ and Beenie Man, giving the artist an opportunity to publicly state his support of the gay community. However, Beenie Man aborted the interview only a few minutes in. Raggamuffin spokesperson Brotha D says this prompted them to remove him from the bill.

"We took the concerns of the gay community very seriously and sought to address them with Beenie Man, " Brotha D says. "Raggamuffin is a family festival and we do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender or sexuality. After being made fully aware of his past comments and lyrics, and continued homophobic attitude the Raggamuffin team made the decision to remove him from the festival line-up."

It is not the first time Beenie Man has been dropped from a New Zealand festival, in 2009 he was removed from the Big Day Out line-up for 2010.

Beenie Man has been replaced by Jamaican reggae and reggae fusion sensation Diana King - who is known as the first Jamaican artist to publicly come out as gay.

Saturday 20th February 2016, The Trusts Arena, Auckland


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