Eminem drops anti-gay lyrics for UK gig
Eminem has reportedly agreed not to perform any anti-gay songs in order to appear at the Wireless Festival next summer.
The festival was said to be concerned about protests from gay groups such as OutRage! over some of the rapper’s lyrics.
The UK-based gay rights group has been vocal in protesting against homophobic singers, most recently Jamaican stars Buju Banton and Beenie Man. It last protested against Eminem in 2001.
But when a deal was struck between all three parties was made to ensure there would be no anti-gay lyrics or protests, the singer agreed to sign up for the summer event.
According to the Evening Standard, a festival insider said: “This is a huge signing for Wireless and it will be the hottest ticket this summer.
“The organisers were afraid campaigners could potentially ruin the event. So there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and Eminem only agreed to sign up when assurances had been made that there would not be any protests.
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“It was very touch-and-go but he has finally agreed to appear. Any kind of demonstration against him could have been disastrous.
“He will be bringing a huge entourage of security with him but there is still the risk that protesters may picket the hotel he stays in.”
OutRage! spokesman David Allison said: “We have a condition that he does not use lyrics that encourage or incite hatred against gay people.
“He is free to express his views on gay people, as long as he stays off the violence and hatred. He has got plenty of other lyrics to choose from. In recent years he has become quite well-behaved.”
In a song titled Criminal on his second studio album. The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem’s lyrics include: “My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge/ That’ll stab you in the head, whether you’re a fag or lez/ Or the homosex, hermaph or a trans-a-vest/Pants or dress? Hate fags? The answer’s yes”.
His lyrics have had an unlikely defender in the form of Elton John.
John reportedly helped Eminem recover from painkiller addiction and has performed on stage with him.
The gay singer said: “I honestly don’t think people will go out and start beating and killing people because of this album. It appeals to my English black sense of humour.”