Hip hop artist MIA has been dropped from the upcoming Afropunk London festival. The Sri Lankan musician was due to headline the event but found herself in a controversial situation following her comments about the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement last April.
The festival is set to take place on September 24 at London’s Alexandra Palace. MIA has been a doubt to appear at the festival after a post on twitter last month in which she declared her lack of intention to perform, following the criticism she had received about her comments in ES Magazine.
She told the magazine: “It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter. 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.”
Following these comments, many fans had threatened to boycott the festival, which is due to be held in London for the first time since its creation in Brooklyn in 2005. MIA replied to fan comments; posting on twitter: “If pulling the show saves the cause and lives then that’s what I’ll do.”
Despite originally defending the artist and reiterating she would be part of the line up regardless of what had happened, festival organisers have now confirmed MIA will not be taking part this year.
Here is a section of Afropunk London’s statement:
“We are excited and honored to do our first AFROPUNK Festival in London and want to do it right. After discussing the situation with the artist and the community, a decision was agreed upon by all involved that M.I.A will no longer headline AFROPUNK London.”
The festival organisers have yet to confirm a replacement headliner, however some of the artists who will be performing include: SZA, Word Sound Power, Benjamin Booker, Soulection and Purple Ferdinand.