Jamaican Reggae artist Sizzla has been banned by Melkweg music venue, a popular show podium in Amsterdam, as a result of his anti-gay lyrics.
Sizzla Kalonji, born Miguel Orlando Collins, April 17 in 1976, was scheduled to perform on Sunday, March 16 2014 but now that appearance will no longer take place. A Meldweg spokesperson has already confirmed that people who have already purchased tickets will be refunded.
Staff from Melkweg, which translates to Milky Way in English, said that they came across footage of the Sting Festival in Jamaica where Sizzla performed. One of his songs expresses his opinion on why men and women should not have sex with someone of the same sex. According to Sizzla his statement is based on the teachings taken directly from the Bible. Sizzla thinks he should be able to make such a statement, in view of his right to freedom of speech.
Agreeably no one can Take away his right to free speech but on this occasion, his opinion means Sizzla has been banned resulting in him losing favour with a promoter. Melkweg does not want to provide a stage to anyone who sings what they consider to be “very hurtful and hateful lyrics.’
The backlash has apparently not ended there as the Sting festival in Jamaica have also claimed that as a result of his lyrics, Sizzla has been banned at the iconic festival as well.
In 2007, Sizzla signed a document in which he renounced previous anti-gay statements. He then also promised to no longer sing anti-gay songs on European stages which he has not done but the fact that he still holds those sentiments inside has cost him.
What are your thoughts on this? How do you feel about discovering that Sizzla has been banned for expressing his feelings? Should we preserve the right of free speech or engage in zero tolerance for any hateful/hurtful expression?