boycott Jamaica

Is It Time to Boycott Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs?

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Not because of the outsize ego or materialistic values he exports, but because in addition to schilling for Diageo’s Ciroc vodka, he’s in talks with the spirits giant to rep two of its beer brands: foamy Guinness and a little stout bottle called Red Stripe. Yes, that’s the same Red Stripe at the center of Boycott Jamaica, which aims to inflict the gay community’s version of economic sanctions on any product that sends money back to one of the world’s most homophobic nation.

We already examined how the boycott means you have to stop watching Wheel Of Fortune, buying Sony cameras, and reading Vanity Fair. If Diddy backs Red Stripe, does that mean you have to stop buying Sean John clothing, watching MTV (he produces a show for the network), and block the ABC network because it aired his movie A Raisin In The Sun?

Interestingly, word is Diddy won’t rep Guinness and Red Stripe beers to the mass market, like he does with Ciroc, but rather his deal would “likely involve a U.S. multicultural initiative on the brands.” Yep, targeting people of color with that homophobic Red Stripe brand!

Diddy: Possibly America’s newest homophobe!

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  • C-Teller

    Thanks for reminding me Queerty. I’ll make sure I pick a few Red Stripes for my boyfriend on the way home.

  • TikiHead

    You’re making my brain hurt — you have to boycott those who do not participate in the boycott?


    Yes thats right TIKIHEAD boycott ANYONE involved with Red Stripe – However, does the big “Puff” know about the boycott, perhapps Queerty should ask him for his comments before we add another one to the list of enemies

  • Qjersey

    how can you boycott someone who’s “products” you don’t buy anyway?

  • scott ny'er

    @Qjersey: Seriously. Who buys his crappy products anyway.

  • D-Sun


    This is a good question.

    I haven’t bought one of his albums, worn any of his clothing, or watched his Making the Band show since, um, ever.

    So I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing then?

  • james p. p.

    this is sad on one MAJOR level… Diageo is one of the GREATEST, homo-friendly companies in the world. the HRC praises them yearly. they overwhelmingly support their gay/lesbian and transgender employees AND their spouses. the amount of help that they have given our community cannot be summed up in one simple blog post comment.

    so regardless of where Red Stripe comes from or why anyone would consider ‘6 degrees of boycotting’, please do a little research before attempting to attack. i don’t like Diddy, i don’t like Red Stripe, and i’m all for boycotting Jamaica, but please allow a little leeway for a company that’s one of our best supporters.

  • Darrien

    I thought that Red Stripe was one of the few gay-friendly businesses in Jamaica. As far as I can recall, it’s backed gay liberation in Jamaica and the gay organisation of Jamaica asked for people not to boycott Red Stripe because it was an ally.

  • Glynn

    That is interesting Darrien – I remember Red Stripe used to be available in very many gay establishments years ago and for a while it was a “trendy” mo’s quencher. As for Red Stripe the company being pro-gay I don’t know. Presumably they don’t promote themselve as pro-mo in Jamacia, cos those nutty locals would burn the bottling plant down to the ground and lynch the batty boy management.

    The boycott though is against any Jamacian product, which shouldn’t be too difficult

  • strumpetwindsock

    I understand that Red Stripe (Daigeo) has done everything they can to comply with the boycott – pulling their sponsorship from homophobic bands, yet they are still being punished.

    What is the reasoning or the incentive for anyone else being boycotted to actually change? And how is any of this supposed to affect the Jamaican government or the cops who are actually turning a blind eye to this violence?

    And I have mentioned that if they wanted to boycott a major Jamaican industry they should go after the sugar or aluminum industry, not a brewery.

    Too bad that’s not as sexy or as easy as just switching your brand of beer and pretending you’re doing something.

  • jason

    MTV has been homophobic for years. Note how it banned male bisexuals from appearing on its bisexual dating show.

  • galefan2004

    @D-Sun: I’m in the same boat as you. However, I don’t believe in boycotts in general. To actually make them work you have to have huge numbers, and even then, if Iran serves as an example, they simply don’t work anyways. As for Haiti being ran by homophobes, it is the duty of the gays and lesbians in their country to work on that. When I ask them for help in the US then I will help them in Haiti not until then.

  • galefan2004

    @jason: There is a different between being homophobic and appealing to the masses. As a broadcasting company, even a cable broadcasting company, they need to focus on products that appeal to the main stream, and the main stream (on both the gay/lesbian and straight side of the aisle) simply don’t handle bisexual men as well as they handle bisexual women. That being said, i would absolutely love to see a bisexual dating show staring Tommy D 3x.

  • jason


    You mean “fake bisexual woman whose career is driven by a sleazy straight guy who doesn’t give a rat’s about gay rights”.

    As for the “mainstream” not being able to handle bisexual men as well as bisexual women, why is that the case? Have you ever delved beyond the superficial into the reasons behind it? Perhaps it’s the media which perpetuates this double standard, a media which panders to sleazy straight guys and their bisexual female enablers as per my definition above.

  • galefan2004

    @jason: I honesty don’t blame the media for this one. I blame the culture. The straight male is much more accepting of the lesbian woman than the straight female is of the gay man. Straight women often feel threatened by gay men, while straight men often feel turned on to lesbian women. Straight women are also more accepting of lesbian women than straight men are of gay men.

    Its just the way the culture is. When you start blurring the lines with bisexuality almost all groups (straight/bi/gay men and women) accept female bisexuals and almost all groups (straight/gay men and women) don’t really accept bisexual men the same way.

    It probably doesn’t help that most gay men feel that bisexual men are just confused and will eventually be gay. Hell, many gay men used the “bisexual” term while first coming out themselves. Also, it probably doesn’t help that some gay men feel that bisexual men can assimilate into straight culture and avoid the inequality. In the end, I think the biggest problem facing bisexual men is that they are simply misunderstood by almost everyone that isn’t a bisexual man.

  • jason


    Acceptance of bisexual women is phony. It’s a phony acceptance based on titillation.

    Nevertheless, sleazy straight guys and their bisexual female enablers use this phony acceptance to perpetuate a faux intellectual argument about how bi women are better than bi guys. At the end of the day, this argument props up patriarchy. It plays rights into the hands of patriarchs.

    There is no such thing as “this is just the way our culture is”. Culture doesn’t happen by random events. It happens by design. Sleazy straight guys and their bisexual female enablers have designed our culture to be like this, and they’re using their own designs to perpetuate myths.

  • MackMike

    MTV is homophobic because it didn’t allow male bi-sexuals to participate on one dreadful bi-sexual dating show? One show?! MTV has probably done more to destigmatizehomosexuality and gay culture than just about any network that I can possibly think of. Gays and bi-sexuals have been depicted on The Real World, Road Rules, the various iterations of challenges between the two, the dating show “Next,” “Date My Mom,” “True Life,” “Made,” “Parental Control,” etc. In each of these shows, assimilation into society has been the constant theme, whether GLBT individuals are depicted as no better or no worse than other castmates on Real World, or shown to be loved and accepted by their parents on Parental Control.

    We may not always love the images we see, but I dare say that those who know the straight counterparts of these gay cast members squirm in discomfort by what they see of their friends and family.

    I might also remind that MTV owns logo, and often airs programming seen on logo on VH1. The exposure they give to gays is well ahead of any other network.

    HBO, Showtime, and Bravo have all offered glimpses into the lives of members of the GLBT community, but perhaps more superficially so. Though I am now years beyond being interested in The Real World, just this morning, as I read the paper, I tuned into the first episode of the latest version of the show. I was struck, as I saw all the roommates–particluarly the straight guys–embrace their gay male castmate as though no differences existed between them, which really is progress from the first airing of Real World, when the notion of a bi-sexual in the house was considered more daring and cast members were unsure as to how to handle that “twist” in casting. Since that first airing of The Real World, MTV is fairly regularly included gay cast mates, though I’m fairly certain that most of the viewers are straight teens (or those arrested enough to tune in over coffee and the morning paper).

    I’m not suggesting that MTV is a paragon of moral virtue; their Sweet 16 shows have been just a dreadful celebration of excess and the pursuit of 15 minutes of celebrity at all costs. However, perhaps we can be more measured when pointing a finger and calling a company or network homophobic or an enemy to our community.

  • galefan2004

    @jason: Actually culture is nothing more than a consensus of ideas. It takes a great deal of people to design culture. What you fail to dispute is my concept that a guy is turned on by two girls (even though he wants to be part of it and I’m not arguing that he doesn’t) but a girl is turned off by two guys. I’m interested in your take on that.

  • galefan2004

    @MackMike: The first openly gay kiss was on the The Real World. The first real mention of AIDS activism (which MTV still stands by today) was with Pedro (again on The Real World). The only network to consistently show people of the gay and lesbian community way before Logo even existed was MTV. I totally agree that MTV has done more to further the cause than any other network on television ever has.

  • W


    get over it. I know you’re not a fan of political correctness, so I’ll spell it out for you. Most people don’t want to see two dudes macking one each other. For most people it’s a sincere, visceral negative gut reaction. Don’t like that? Too bad. Get the fuck over it.

  • Jamican gays and lesbians do not support the Red Stripe boycott


    Dear Friends and Supporters:

    We thank our international allies for their continued interest in the state of LGBT affairs in Jamaica. Your support over the years has strengthened our voice and made it possible for us to make progress where we hardly thought it possible. One of the most significant ventures in which our international allies have collaborated with us was the SMM campaign that started in 2004, and which culminated in a local debate about the appropriateness of violence and hate in Jamaican music played in public places. Despite the occasionally homophobic rant by rogue deejays, we have seen a general decline in the level of homophobia coming from new Jamaican artistes and in new music from Jamaica. We have also seen corporate sponsors withdrawing their support from music that promotes violence or discrimination against any group.

    It with this in mind that we find it unfortunate that a campaign has been launched calling for the boycott of two Jamaican products, one marketed by a company that unequivocally distanced itself from the hostility and violence typical of Jamaican music towards members of the LGBT community. In April 2008, Red Stripe took the brave and principled stance to cease sponsorship of music festivals that promoted hate and intolerance, including that against members of the LGBT community. The naming of Red Stripe, therefore, as a target of this boycott is extremely damaging to the cause of LGBT activists in Jamaica.

    In the global arena in which we operate today, events in one place can and do have repercussions in another. Concomitantly, information about occurrences in different places across the globe is easily accessible everywhere. We believe that any overseas entity or organisation seeking to agitate for change in a context with which it has only passing familiarity should first do its homework to ensure that it does not do harm to its credibility and ultimately to the cause of the local community whose interest it seeks to defend.

    It is unfortunate that the organisers of the current campaign to boycott Jamaica have failed in the key area of fact finding. The misguided targeting of Red Stripe does tremendous damage to a process of change that we began almost 11 years ago. The boycott call has now left us not only with our persistent day to day challenges but with a need to engage Red Stripe and attempt damage control as a result of actions that we did not take. Against this background, we would like to reiterate that while we appreciate the support given by our international allies, and understand their impatience for change, we who live in Jamaica best know and understand the dynamics of our situation. We also know that change is a slow and tedious process and those engage in it must be patient.

    Jamaica’s deeply ingrained antipathy towards homosexuality and homosexuals is a social phenomenon that will not be undone by boycott campaigns or government dictate. It requires the painstaking effort of confronting the society and talking to social actors who can bring change in the way society sees LGBT people. We have been doing this through a small but growing group of increasingly aware opinion leaders who are concerned about the damage homophobia does to our society. We need those ears to continue being open to us and we need the relative safety that some of us have been given to speak to them.

    It is important that our international allies understand the nature of our struggle and engage us in a respectful way about it. Unless they are willing and able to lead the struggle in the trenches as we have done, it is important that they be guided by us. To do otherwise would be to act in a manner that destroys the space for dialogue that we have managed to create over the past decade and to set back our struggle. It is for this reason that we urge those in the international arena who seek to act in our name and on our behalf to do so not only with the utmost care and responsibility but also with due consideration for our efforts and concerns as members of the local activist community.


    Jason McFarlane

    Programmes Manager

    Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays

  • mb00

    Well that’s a no brainer for me. I don’t like, buy or listen to his music, EVER! I don’t wear urban clothing and his over-exposed ego will always turn me off before I would even consider taking his advice on what to wear, listen to or drink.
    But with that being said, the man is not a homophobe. As much as Queerty would like us to believe, he’s spoken for equal rights for the LGBT.
    He’s had this to say in 2004: “This year, even more gay and lesbian characters took center stage in reality programming. What does this show America? It shows America that the reality is we all have a gay or lesbian friend or family member. And that every person in America, no matter their race, religion, or sexual orientation, is key to making our country great and must be included equally.”
    It is rare when a man in the Hip-Hop community speaks out for our rights and for that single reason, I have respect for this man.

  • Robert, NYC

    The hypocrisy and double standard of the majority of straight males when it comes to bisexual women or lipstick lesbians is notorious. To the straight male, almost any female is a potential lay and the thought of two women getting it on and participating with them I would venture to say is a dream or fantasy of the average straight male. Male on male action is of course abhorrent to most of them, though I often wonder why they protest too much!

    As for bisexual males, I’ve met a few who don’t even consider kissing or romance to be acceptable between two males, but reserved for women only. There are also bi males who don’t even consider their same sex attraction as necessarily gay, lot of denial on that one I think. Some even marry, have children, live a double life of deceit, cheat on their spouses and vote against our equality. I’m not saying all of them do, but many, though there are some gay males who do that.

  • galefan2004

    @W: Unfortunately I am inclined to agree with you. However, I did know one chick that was in our school pride organization who got off on her bisexual boyfriend being with guys. Its about the only chick I ever heard of that was like that, and pretty much every guy I ever talked to gets off on two chicks.

  • galefan2004

    @mb00: If I remember right he was CRUCIFIED for that statement by the hip-hop community as well.

  • galefan2004

    @Robert, NYC: I think if they voted for our equality they would have to face the fact that they might just be like us, and that is something they will never do. Voting against is a little harsh, but often happens unfortunately.

  • Jamie

    This is so dumb. Seriously – this is your idea of activism? Boycotting rappers because they sign sponsorship deals with companies that aren’t even engaged in any kind of homophobic activity? You have to engage in some serious logic twisting to argue that Red Stripe is a homophobic company.

    The argument, if you can call it that, seems to be that since
    a) everyone in Jamaica is a homophobe; and
    b) Red Stripe is a Jamaican company; and
    c) Red Stripe is therefore a homophobic company.

    Can you not see how totally illogical that is? Red Stripe is not a public advocate of gay rights, but neither is it a public opponent of gay rights. It seems to be completely neutral, and I don’t see what’s problematic about that. They’re a beer company, not a gay rights organization.

  • rrr

    @mb00: I agree. I don’t care for his music, but Diddy is one of the few non-homophobe guys in rap. He’s spoken positively about gays and gay rights for years. He’s also talked about how his gay uncle was an important figure of admiration in his life.

  • Azatlan

    @galefan2004: Actually, I’m not sure there was much of a response. Certainly there was no “crucifixion.”

  • fredo777

    I don’t plan on boycotting Diddy, since his shows on MTV/VH1 have often featured gay + trans characters among the cast + he even selected Jaila (a trans woman) to be part of his backing band on one of the latest shows (Making His Band).

  • jason

    P Diddy is ugly. Nuff said.

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