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M.I.A Will Not Be Headlining Afropunk Festival in London Due to Controversial Comments

by Cailey Lindberg   Jul 19, 2016 15:16 PM EDT

It’s official, M.I.A. will not be headlining Afropunk Festival in London, as was announced this past Friday (July 15). The reason behind the festival organizers dropping her seems to be some controversial comments that were made about the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a statement released to Billboard the festival organizers said, “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."

It initially appeared that M.I.A. was going to remove herself from the bill due to the ensuing backlash, but it now seems that the festival also decided it was for the best. Some potential guests even threatened to boycott the festival if she was not taken off of the bill.

it appeared that M.I.A. was criticizing the movement when she said to Evening Standard, “Is Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That’s a more interesting question. And you cannot ask it on a song that’s on Apple, you cannot ask it on an American TV program, you cannot create that tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama is not going to **** you back.”

The rapper later shed some light on her comments by saying, “I’m not Muslim. My question was, on American platforms what do they allow you to stand up for in 2016?”

In other M.I.A. news, the rapper is reportedly close to leaking her fifth studio album, Matahdatah, and has been accusing other artists of theft. In the tweets the rapper claimed disgust at “big American artists” who have used her art as well as her “refugee sentiments” to receive press for both their views and work.

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