All Together Now pulls performer following transphobic social media posts

Organisers of All Together Now have cancelled Osunlade's performance saying, they will not support "views that are considered to be hate or hurtful speech.”

The image is a view of the main stage at the All Together Now festival who have cancelled Osunlade for anti-trans posts. The image shows the stage in the background with people sitting on the ground facing it. It is daytime and there is a yellow and black path running down the centre of the image.
Image: via Instagram

Organisers of the All Together Now festival have responded to concerns raised by the LGBTQ+ community over transphobic comments made by the American musician Osunlade.

In a statement to GCN, a spokesperson for All Together Now said, “Concerns were raised by our festival goers about the views shared by Osunlade on social media. 

“Our commitment to freedom of expression does not obligate us to lend the platform of the festival to those who express views that are considered to be hate or hurtful speech.” 

They continued, “The views shared by Osunlade do not align with those of the festival. We support trans rights and the trans community. Our hope is that the festival is a space where the trans community can feel welcome, as well as creating a safe, supportive, and loving environment for everyone.

“To that end, Osunlade has been removed from the festival bill and will not be performing at All Together Now.” 

Osunlade, who hails from St Louis, Missouri, began writing and producing music in LA in the early ’90s before moving to New York, where he became a priest of the Yoruba religion. He released his first solo album in 2000 under his own record label, Yoruba Records. Since then, he has released nine studio albums.

The musician launched an Instagram account in May 2020, where he originally began promoting his music, but in April 2021, he began populating the account with anti-mask and anti-vax videos as the Covid-19 pandemic escalated.

Over the subsequent years, the social media account has regularly shared videos about conspiracy theories, including extremist commentators such as Andrew Tate and Josh Rogan.

On April 11, 2023, he shared a TikTok video posted by @ezasemzansi of Joshua Maponga, a Zimbabwean author and philosopher, discussing how America had offered to donate $16m to Zimbabwe for humanitarian rights. In the video, he states, “The Americans are more interested in a transgender, homosexual agenda around the world where they will give you money to protect human rights…” 

Osunlade followed the post with a comment, ranting about his negative views on gender-affirming healthcare, equating it to child abuse. Since then, and while he has been on the bill for All Together Now, several more posts have been shared on the account, including comments sharing similar transphobic stances.

In a post from July 28, Osunlade shared a video specifically addressing his cancellation from a number of festivals. In it, he identifies himself as a “gay black man”, and after referring to the “trans mafia” and equating puberty blockers to “chemical castration”, he declared, “…you’re becoming a f***ing nuisance. You won’t change my life, and you’re f***ing with the wrong one.”  

Speaking directly to the music industry, he said, “For all you promoters that are being cowards and don’t want to deal with this shit, cool, but we have to be adults, and you mother f***ers have lost your God damn minds. Covid has f***ed a lot of your brains up…”

Last year, the All Together Now festival came under criticism after hosting a discussion entitled ‘Sex and Intimacy’ featuring Rachel Moran and Stella O’Malley who are said to hold transphobic opinions, as well as controversial views on issues such as sex work and so-called ‘conversion therapy’.

Following the festival, organisers issued a statement saying, “We wholeheartedly and unreservedly apologise to all our festival community, artists and supporters for any hurt or anguish caused. We support trans rights. It’s as simple as that.”

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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