UPDATE: Buju Banton show not taking place at Jannus Landing, after all
About a week ago, we told you that controversial reggae artist Buju Banton was performing at Jannus Landing on Oct. 30, after the Ritz Ybor dropped the show due to pressure from gay and lesbian activists.
Now, in the midst of a potential ownership shift at Jannus, promoter Peter "Mr. CC" Samms said the show has been dropped from Jannus Landing as well. (It's still listed on Ticketmaster, but Samms said Jannus has definitely backed out.)
However, Samms isn't giving up on bringing Banton to Tampa Bay, and hopes to line up another venue for the show this week. Banton, he said, has played a number of controversy-free shows at Jannus Landing over the years, and he expects the reggae singer's fans to turn out wherever he plays.
Samms is livid over the controversy, which centers on Banton's reportedly homophobic track Boom Bye Bye, recorded when the singer was a teenager. Critics say the track advocates violence against gays; Samms doesn't buy it, and says that in focusing on one song, critics are ignoring the notion that Banton has moved on.
"Over 500 songs, and one song offends you? One?" Samms says. "I would love to hear someone come out and tell me that one song out of 500 means more than the other 499. ... You're only thinking of the one song that offends you, and you refuse to take into consideration that there are thousands of people out there that have moved on, don't care about that song you're talking about.
"He was 15 years old when he did that song. He doesn't do the song anymore. If he even did the song, you would have to ask a Jamaican to translate what he's doing to figure out why you're being offended. It's laughable."
For more on the Buju Banton controversy, click here.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images.