In June, when Afropunk London announced that MIA would headline, the festival created to amplify unsung black musicians was immediately criticized for booking an artist who, in April, essentially belittled Black Lives Matter in a way that belied a surprising ignorance about both black people and Muslims.
MIA responded to the initial criticisms and calls for Afropunk to drop her, doubling down on her original statements, which clumsily made a false equivalency between refugee crisis and Black Lives Matter, and then proceeded to assert that one is more important than the other. She tweeted:
She seemed to imply she wouldn’t be doing the festival, but at the time Afropunk organizers spoke out for her and stood by their decision to book her as a headliner, releasing a statement that actually commended the dialogue surrounding her comments:
Today, though, they have reversed their decision, releasing yet another statement that they’ve heard the complaints and pulled MIA from the festival:
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