After originally coming to M.I.A.’s defense, Afropunk London has announced that the controversial artist will no longer headline its inaugural festival. When the lineup was first revealed last month, fans expressed outrage over M.I.A.’s previous comments questioning the popularity of Black Lives Matter, arguing she should be dropped because of them. Shortly after, M.I.A. tweeted that she would “stay in [her] lane” and no longer play the festival, despite Afropunk responding otherwise. Afropunk now says that in order to do its first London festival right, M.I.A. can’t be a part of it. “We are excited and honored to do our first AFROPUNK Festival in London and want to do it right,” the fest said in a statement. “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.” Afropunk London will announce a replacement headliner on July 19.
Here’s the full statement:
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.
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.
AFROPUNK will be releasing a new headliner and the second wave of artists on July 19th.