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Monday, 26 February, 2001, 19:09 GMT
Eminem protesters hit Brits
Eminem
Brit-rap: The ever-controversial Eminem
Gay rights activists have staged a demonstration outside the Brit Awards in London to protest about the appearance of controversial rapper Emimem.

The performer, who faced similar protests outside the Grammys in Los Angeles last week, has been accused of sexism and homophobia in some quarters.

Some of rock and pop's biggest names are out force at Earl's Court for the awards - where newcomers Coldplay and singer Robbie Williams are expected to triumph.

Robbie Williams
Robbie will perform live

Eminem is nominated for best international male solo artist alongside Ricky Martin, Ronan Keating, Sisqo and Wyclef Jean.

Outrage

About a dozen protesters stood in pouring rain outside the venue, bearing banners reading "Eminem fuels anti-gay hate" and "Talent is no excuse for bigotry".

He is due to perform his single Stan at the ceremony - the same song he sang with gay singer Sir Elton John at the Grammys.

Outside the venue, Peter Tatchell of gay group Outrage told BBC News Online: "We are here to shame Eminem and the Brits judges. If Eminem doesn't believe in what he sings, why does he not issue a statement denouncing violence?

"We don't believe he should be censored, but we do believe he should be challenged."

He added: "If he was fantasising about raping and lynching black peple, he would not have a record, let along a Brit nomination, and he would be up on charges of inciting racial hatred."

The protest is being organised by Outrage and the National Union of Students women's and gay sections.

Other performers due to play at the Brits include Coldplay, Westlife, Robbie Williams and Sonique.

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22 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem: Courting controversy
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