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Thursday, 1 February, 2001, 14:00 GMT
Student ban for Eminem
Eminem
Students complained about Eminem's lyrics
Controversial rapper Eminem's records have been banned by a university students' union, a week ahead of his first UK tour.

The ruling, by the union at Sheffield University, follows complaints from students upset by the inclusion of words such as "fags" because they break the union's anti-homophobia policies.

Its radio station has been forbidden from playing his records, and so have DJs at the union's club nights.

His T-shirts have also been banned, and his records will not be reviewed in the student newspaper.

Andreaz Nowakowski, president of the union's sabbatical board, issued the ban. He said a committee had arrived at the decision following a complaint from a body of students.

'Tolerance'

"Our aim is to create a culture of tolerance, equality and respect for all our members," he said.

"We have an anti-homophobic policy and we are working towards that.

Eminem
Eminem's tour starts next week
"There are clauses in the constitution for freedom of speech but we don't place those above freedom from discrimination."

Mr Nowakowski said students would be able to challenge the decision at a meeting of the student assembly.

'Ridiculous'

Sophie Bruce, a DJ on the university's Sure FM station, called the ban "ridiculous".

"It could take us off the air," she said.

"If we play his music the union may take away our funding but if we don't play it the Radio Authority may take away our licence because we are not being impartial with our music.

"It's not like we aren't taking in other people's views. The fact that it was just two or three people who complained make this ban so over the top."

But a Radio Authority spokeswoman told BBC News Online that a ban on Eminem's music would not put Sure FM's licence at risk.

She said: "It's not part of our remit - we don't get involved in playlist issues."

Eminem's lyrics have prompted activists to picket the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on 21 February, where he is nominated for four prizes.

Organisers of the Brit awards are also hoping to book him for their ceremony, to be held in London five days later.

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See also:

09 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Eminem in NME spotlight
04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Grammys defend Eminem nominations
27 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Eminem '2000's best album'
15 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Eminem and wife reconcile
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