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Raggamuffin festival organisers disappoint Logie

Sat 21 Nov 2015 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Jan Logie says she is disappointed that Raggamuffin festival organisers have invited the controversial reggae singer, Beenie Man, to perform here.   The rainbow MP says is extremely disappointed that Raggamuffin festival organisers, who are aware of Beenie Man’s “homophobic and extremely hateful” lyrics, have invited him to play in New Zealand. “I wouldn’t want to attend a festival that thought it was okay to have homophobic, hateful performers on the bill,” she says. “There are plenty of fantastic performers around the world who don’t promote hatred, violence and bigotry.” Beenie Man is one of the headliner acts booked to perform at the Raggamuffin festival in February. With many people questioning whether controversial acts such as Beenie Man should be allowed into the country, Logie says: “Whether or not someone should be legally allowed into New Zealand is up to the Department of Immigration and they have the same processes and threshold that they apply to everyone who enters the country”. New Zealand has laws against hate speech and ones which Logie says Beenie Man could potentially breach if he were to sing homophobic songs when he plays here. However, it would be up to the authorities to decide whether his lyrics are in breach of the law. The Green MP notes that Beenie Man publicly renounced his lyrics in a Youtube video released in 2012 and says: “we can only take him on face value at that and judge him on his actions now.” She says she will be writing to Ragamuffin Promoters to see they will have a discussion about this issue and how they could support LGBTI festival goers and promote messages of inclusion.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 21st November 2015 - 10:47am

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