File - Beenie Man
Sadeke Brooks and Dwight Nelson, Star Writers
Beenie Man stuck to his words last Wednesday night by not selling any Red Stripe products at Beenie Sizzle at Jamalco Sports Complex, Clarendon.
Products such as Guinness, Red Stripe Light, Red Stripe Beer and Heineken were not available at the event. The official drink was Mackeson Stout while Red Bull, Magnum and other hard liquor like Appleton Rum were on sale.
Earlier this year, in what was a controversial move, the brewing company withdrew its sponsorship from some dancehall live music events due to "violent and anti-social lyrics".
After the announcement, several dancehall artistes, including Beenie Man, voiced their disapproval with their decision. Beenie Man stated that he would not sell any Red Stripe products at his event.
Beenie Man's publicist, Ray Alexander, said the vendors who rented booths inside the venue were not allowed to sell Red Stripe products, but they may have been brought in illegally.
"We are hoping the rest of promoters will join us in doing this. People were enjoying themselves without Red Stripe products. They didn't need it," said Alexander.
Though the move was quite bold, Beenie Man said, "Anybody tek a stance against dancehall music, we take a stance against them because if you tek stance against dancehall music, you nuh want we fi eat or wi youth go a school."
He added, "For this show, I personally have to dig deep into my pocket because the only company who contribute cash was Mackeson Stout. However, I have to say thanks to all the others who have supported us. I don't know why Red Stripe has taken this stance because dancehall music has been what it is for over 50 years, in which we don't support certain things."
When contacted, Red Stripe's head of corporate relations, Maxine Whittingham-Osborne, told The Star that she was not aware that Red Stripe products were not sold at Beenie Sizzle. However, she said, "I don't think we would like to comment on that."