Elephant Man may perform in Canada despite concerns

After hearing complaints from the LGBT community in Toronto, Canada about the controversial performer’s violently anti-gay lyrics (sample: “Queers must be killed!” “Give me the Tec-9/Shoot dem like bird”), Parc Downsview Park CEO Tony Genco has refused to pull dancehall act Elephant Man from an upcoming show scheduled for this Sunday Oct 10 at the federal park.

Elephant Man’s (real name O’Neil Bryan) second scheduled performance in the Toronto area this year is to take place. Back in August, the Circa nightclub gig in downtown Toronto was dropped club officials received complaints and were informed of his homophobic lyrics decided to pull the plug. Word of the show had spread to the LGBT community via Twitter and Facebook and only hours after announcing the show, Circa sent this tweet: “Circa stands for peace, love and equality. Elephant Man has been removed from the Celebrity Ball.”

The present promoter has been informed of Ele’s lyrical content including the infamous “Log on and step pon chi chi man/Log on and step on a queer man” PDP CEO Tony Genco refuses to pull Elephant Man from the show at the federal venue even after a privately-owned club decided weeks ago — in the spirit of “peace, love and equality” — he should not perform on their stage.

In a publicly released statement (pdf) Parc Downsview Park justified their decision citing a “morality clause” in Elephant Man’s contract, which, they say, will restrict him from using lyrics that “promote the hatred or derision of any group.” That the federal park would welcome performers that need to be reminded of this clause is in itself a red flag.

Genco however in an interview with Rabble a Canadian publication said that Elephant Man hadn’t used these lyrics in “25 years” and that if the rabble representative and the lgbt groups could find evidence that he had used them more recently he would reconsider the show. The promoter, Eric Morgan met with the venue’s owner after their meeting, Genco still refuses to pull the show, since he believes Elephant Man has put these hateful lyrics behind him, though there is no public record of Elephant Man apologizing or explaining his lyrics.

According to Justin Stayshyn of Rabble news who spoke directly to Mr. Genco – “One wonders what has prompted Genco to defend Elephant Man like this and why he implies that EM regrets these lyrics as he’s made no public statements to that effect. In fact, when given a chance to do just that — he has refused. Back in 2007, in response to protests against hateful lyrics a number of artists signed “ The Reggae Compassionate Act” which states that they “respect and uphold the rights of all individuals to live without violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender.” Though a number of his peers signed, Elephant Man did not.”

So it looks like Elephant Man may perform after all even in the face of his own sexuality being brought into question recently with a public feud with another dancehall DJ named Flippa Mafia and allegations of the Elephant and another entertainer found in a compromising position are rife in certain entertainment circles.
Hypocrisy, lies of what???

See: Elephant Man called a “Fish” in dancehall rivalry Dancehall gimmickry escalates as a ‘dolphin’ curses an ‘elephant’, this is not the first time we have seen the Elephant being accused of being a closeted homo and one wonders sometimes if these allegations have any truth to them.

Mek wi see nuh.

(excerpts from Rabble)


Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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