LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Rapper M.I.A. has been dropped from her headlining slot at this year's inaugural Afropunk festival in London.
The move to drop the Sri Lankan artist came after she made in an interview in April with the Evening Standard about the Black Live Matter movement, suggesting that its focus was too narrow.
"It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter,” MIA told the reporter in April. “It’s not a new thing to me – it’s what Lauryn Hill was saying in the 1990s, or Public Enemy in the 1980s. Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That’s a more interesting question.”
Her remarks caused public outrage, with some ticketholders threatening to boycott the Afropunk festival if M.I.A. remained in the lineup.
Well, the pressure appears to have worked and in a statement released by the festival, organizers wrote:
“After discussing the situation with the artist and the community, a decision was agreed upon by all involved that MIA will no longer headline Afropunk London.
"Afropunk has always stood side by side with the thousands of people globally who are involved with our events each year, from the fans attending an Afropunk showcase for the first time, to the headline artists playing for capacity crowds on our main festival stages.
"A key part of the Afropunk ethos has always been educating one another, breaking down boundaries and sparking conversation about race, gender, religion, sex, culture and everything that makes life worth living.
"This exchange has meant receiving wisdom, as well as imparting it in the most respectful way possible, with the participation of our entire community of fans, creators, and artists. This community is something we are incredibly proud of, and this community will always be a priority for us."
Filling in for the MIA M.I.A will be Jamaican singer/actress Grace Jones. – Staff Writers