british protests against eminem
Gay activists target Eminem
February 5, 2021
Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has accused controversial US rap star Eminem of promoting prejudice against homosexuals.
Eminem, 28 - who has been both hailed and severely criticised for his edgy, violent lyrics - is flying to Britain this week to perform at three concerts.
On Sunday, Tatchell - who fronts the protest group Outrage! - said he and other gay activists wanted to stage demonstrations against Eminem's "homophobia".
Peter Tatchell wants to stage demonstrations at Eminem's concerts
"His homophobic jibes help make bigotry cool and acceptable," he said.
"He is deliberately avoiding public enagagements in order to deny us a chance to confront him.
"It is very difficult to do anything at the concerts as security is so tight."
Eminem's tracks include Stan - about an obsessed music fan who drowns his girlfriend.
In Role Model, his alter ego Slim Shady talks about hitting his mother with a shovel.
And in another track, the performer, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, includes lines about putting fear into and killing "faggots".
'I don't like his lyrics'
But the star's grandmother spoke out in defence of her grandson ahead of his mini-tour of the UK.
"No I do not think he's a bad boy, I love my grandson," said Betty Kresin, interviewed from Missouri on GMTV on Monday.
However, she did add that she did not approve of all of his work.
"I don't like his lyrics but he's not the only one in rap that's got these lyrics," she added.
In the US, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has also criticised the singer and accused him of sexism and homophobia.
They are also angry that Eminem has been nominated for four awards at the Grammys.
They are joined by the San Francisco-based Family Violence Prevention Fund which has launched a "No to Eminem" campaign to keep him away from the awards ceremony on 21 February.
Last week, Eminem's records were banned from Sheffield University's students' union, following complaints from students about the his anti-gay lyrics.
But Eminem also has an undoubtedly large following among young music fans. His album Marshall Mathers has sold 10 million copies worldwide.
He plays his first British concert at Manchester on Thursday before playing two dates in London.
However, there is some doubt over whether he will be able to start his first concert with his notorious Texas Chainsaw Massacre act.
Manchester city council has said that if he brings a chainsaw on stage it must be switched off to comply with health and safety regulations.
student ban for eminem - students complained about eminem's lyrics
February 1, 2021
Controversial rapper Eminem's records have been banned by a university students' union, a week ahead of his first UK tour. The ruling, by the union at Sheffield University, follows complaints from students upset by the inclusion of words such as "fags" because they break the union's anti-homophobia policies.
Its radio station has been forbidden from playing his records, and so have DJs at the union's club nights.
His T-shirts have also been banned, and his records will not be reviewed in the student newspaper.
Andreaz Nowakowski, president of the union's sabbatical board, issued the ban. He said a committee had arrived at the decision following a complaint from a body of students.
"Our aim is to create a culture of tolerance, equality and respect for all our members," he said.
"We have an anti-homophobic policy and we are working towards that.
Eminem's tour starts next week
"There are clauses in the constitution for freedom of speech but we don't place those above freedom from discrimination."
Mr Nowakowski said students would be able to challenge the decision at a meeting of the student assembly.
Sophie Bruce, a DJ on the university's Sure FM station, called the ban "ridiculous".
"It could take us off the air," she said.
"If we play his music the union may take away our funding but if we don't play it the Radio Authority may take away our licence because we are not being impartial with our music.
"It's not like we aren't taking in other people's views. The fact that it was just two or three people who complained make this ban so over the top."
But a Radio Authority spokeswoman told BBC News Online that a ban on Eminem's music would not put Sure FM's licence at risk.
She said: "It's not part of our remit - we don't get involved in playlist issues."
Eminem's lyrics have prompted activists to picket the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on 21 February, where he is nominated for four prizes.
Organisers of the Brit awards are also hoping to book him for their ceremony, to be held in London five days later.