Box Turtle Bulletin reports that Pepsi sponsored Uganda concerts by murder music reggae singer Beenie Man. BTB notes the following story in a Uganda newspaper.
The King of Dancehall stuck a sword of words into gay people through singing and talking. “In my family, we don’t have any gay person but if you’re gay, my brother that’s not my fault,” he said as he performed his song Mi Nah Wallah, in which he says he would like to cut the throats of all gay men. George Bush and Bin Laden were also at the receiving end of the Jamaican’s wrath calling on the audience to say “murderer” as he sang about the pair’s warfare. The show was sponsored by Pepsi and it doubled as the Crown Beverages’ Chamuka Keys Finale with three RAV4 winners presented on stage to join 17 previous winners in receiving their car log books.
This promotion was likely organized by a local Pepsi bottler without the knowledge of Pepsi’s home office. Over on Change.org, a form has been created to complain to Pepsi headquarters and demand that their affiliates do not sponsor musical acts that call for the murder of gay men. As you may know, Uganda is considering a bill that may impose the death penalty for some homosexual acts. At best, the bill will call for life imprisonment.
UPDATE: Pepsi disavows knowledge of the performer’s anti-gay stance and promises it won’t happen again.
Thanks for contacting us today and giving us a chance to respond. We just wanted you to know that, much like you, we are appalled by the performer’s lyrics and find them repugnant. We are not associated with him in any way. Our bottling partner in Uganda was not aware of the performer’s views and never would have sponsored the concert with this knowledge. Moving forward, we will work closely with our bottling partners to be more vigilant about the events associated with our brands. Thanks again for reaching out.
PepsiCo Media Bureau
(Update via Father Tony)