BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

G-A-Y promoter Jeremy Joseph argues against Eminem
"Supporting Eminem is supporting predujice"
 real 56k

The Daily Telegraph's Neil McCormick is for Eminem
"He is outrageously talented....he is a comedian"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 7 February, 2001, 11:37 GMT
Stage set for Eminem
Eminem flies into the UK this week
Controversial US rapper Eminem is due to arrive in the UK for a three-date UK tour, amid a barrage of protests.

Eminem, 28, has sold 10 million copies worldwide of his album Marshall Mathers - and is expected to receive a rapturous reception from fans at Manchester on Thursday and in London on Friday and Saturday.

He is a misanthropic fantasist and he gives it to everyone, including himself

Neil McCormick

But he has been heavily criticised for his violent lyrics.

Gay rights campaigner Sebastian Sandy, from Stonewall, said the rapper was a coward who picked on targets he perceived as easy and vulnerable.

He told BBC Breakfast: "He never attacks black people because he is afraid to attack them.

"He is never going to say anything that can be construed as racist because he is a coward."

But his music has been defended by pop critics, who see the rapper as satirical.

'Fuelled by outrage'

Neil McCormick, of the Daily Telegraph, said: "He is outrageous but he is also outrageously talented. His skills as a rapper are incredible.

"He is fuelled by outrage and to me this is a satirical and funny album.

"He is hard to defend because he is so offensive. He is kind of puerile and nasty but he is an equal opportunities hater. He is a misanthropic fantasist and he gives it to everyone, including himself."

Gay rights group Outrage!, led by activist Peter Tatchell, is planning to stage demonstrations against Eminem's perceived "homophobia".

Eminem with his opening chainsaw act
And last week Sheffield University students' union banned his music following complaints about his anti-gay lyrics.

There is some doubt over whether he will be able to start his first concert with his signature Texas Chainsaw Massacre act.

Manchester City Council has said that if he brings a chainsaw on stage it must be switched off to comply with health and safety regulations.

The star's grandmother defended him on UK television on Monday.

"No I do not think he's a bad boy, I love my grandson," said Betty Kresin, interviewed from Missouri on GMTV.

But she said she did not approve of all of his work.

"I don't like his lyrics but he's not the only one in rap that's got these lyrics."

Peter Tatchell
Peter Tatchell wants to stage demonstrations at Eminem's concerts
Eminem's tracks include Stan, about an obsessed music fan who drowns his girlfriend.

In Role Model, his alter ego Slim Shady talks about hitting his mother with a shovel.

In another track, the performer, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, includes lines about putting fear into and killing "faggots".

In the US, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has also criticised the singer and accused him of sexism and homophobia.

They are also angry that Eminem has been nominated for four awards at the Grammys.

They are joined by the San Francisco-based Family Violence Prevention Fund which has launched a "No to Eminem" campaign to keep him away from the awards ceremony on 21 February.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories