iTunes Pulls Violent Anti-Gay Music From Store


itunes-button-logo.jpgMusic retailer iTunes recently announced the removal of several songs promoting anti-gay violence from its online store after protests led by Egale and Stop Murder Music (SMM).

According to the songs- by Jamaican artists TOK, Elephant Man and Buju Banton - have been removed from the Canadian version of iTunes' online store. Not only that, but iTunes went another step forward and removed the albums featuring the offending songs on their own initiative. Other albums by the artists will still be available.

Akim Larcher, founder of SMM, calls the decision a victory for gays in the Caribbean and Canada. He said: "iTunes is exercising its corporate responsibility by pulling this murder music and raising the bar for other retailers and distributors to do the same."

Egale and SMM hope that other music retailers will follow iTunes' lead and refuse to stock music with lyrics like the one's featured by Elephant Man: "Dance wi a dance and a bun out a freaky man" (meaning join our dance and burn out the queer man).

"We are extremely pleased with this decision. We have also contacted HMV, Archambault Inc, and and we are optimistic that they will follow iTunes lead," said Helen Kennedy of Egale Canada.

Human rights activists have become increasingly concerned with the plight of gay men and women in the Caribbean. Music promoting the murder and assault of gays has become distressingly common, and homosexuals face violence in everyday life.