iTunes Canada Pulls Homophobic Music
iTunes Canada has removed several songs by Jamaican artists Elephant Man, TOK, and Buju Banton because they call on listeners to murder gay men. Stop Murder Music Canada and Egale called on Apple to remove the songs, which contained lyrics translating to “Join our dance and let’s burn the queer man” and “Boom Boom, queers must be killed.”
Although removing the songs has caused some controversy about freedom of expression and censorship, one thing is clear: they’re not legal. Speech calling for the murder and hatred of an identifiable group violates Canadian hate laws, and Stop Murder Music Canada has called on other music retailers—such as HMV, Amazon.ca, and Archambault Musique—to follow Apple’s suit.
Jamaican dancehall music is notorious for its homophobic lyrics. Homophobia is rampant in Jamaica, with 43 lynch mob attacks on gay men reported in 2007 alone, resulting in the murder of at least 10 gay men.