Influential Jamaican Promoter Wants Disney Banned Over its Same-Sex Kiss

Influential Jamaican Promoter Wants Disney Banned Over its Same-Sex Kiss

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Two weeks after the Disney Channel aired its first-ever same-sex kiss, a well-established dancehall musician and promoter in Jamaica named Oniel Thomas (a.k.a. Foota Hype, pictured above) has called on the country’s prime minister to ban Disney nationwide, calling it “unfit for kids.”

The kiss occurred briefly in an episode of Disney’s animated adventure series Star vs. The Forces of Evil. Thomas posted a screenshot of the kiss and wrote the following comments on his Instagram:

Well let’s see if @lisahannamp and the prime minister(please to tag him) gonna move to ban Disney channel off every cable provider in Jamaica as it’s unfit for kids and will corrupt their minds and most important being gay is illegal by LAW in Jamaica so I’ll wait patiently for their input hope it will be speedy and widely spoken like when they discriminate against my dancehall I’ll speak about it on my live tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Dancehall is a popular genre of Jamaican music; Thomas himself has 93,900 Instagram followers, roughly 3.4 percent of the Jamaican population, though his followers are likely not all Jamaican.

As I have written before when discussing Vice’s coverage of Jamaica’s homeless queer youth:

While homosexuality is not technically illegal in Jamaica, British colonial anti-buggery laws punish sodomy with a 10-year prison sentences and hard labor. Living as an openly LGBT Jamaican risks police harassment, muggings, violent stabbings, burnings and even death.

A majority of Jamaicans see homosexuality and queerness as an immoral choice. The Jamaican LGBTQ organization JFLAG has tried to raise awareness about the effects of queerphobia.

RELATED: Meet The Man Suing Jamaica Over Its Anti-Gay Laws

Critics as far back as the early ‘90s have criticized dancehall artists for peddling “murder music” over lyrics advocating violence against LGBTQ people. After being banned from international festivals, several notoriously queerphobic dancehall performers signed The Reggae Compassionate Act in 2007 as a way of reaffirming queer tolerance in the genre.

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