MIA Dropped from Afropunk Festival for ‘Black Lives Matter’ Comments

“Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters?” the British rapper says

Last Updated: July 16, 2016 @ 3:07 PM

Rapper M.I.A. will no longer headline the Afropunk Festival in London, England, this year following controversial statements she made about the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

“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,” the festival said in a statement released on Instagram Friday.

“A key part of the Afropunk ethos has always been educating one another, breaking down boundaries and sparking conversation about race, gender, religion, sex, culture, and everything that makes life worth living,” the statement continued. “This exchange has meant receiving wisdom, as well as imparting it in the most respectful way possible.”

In an April interview with London-based Evening Standard, M.I.A. incited backlash following her response to Beyoncé’s politically charged Super Bowl performance.

“It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is ‘Black Lives Matter,'” the British rapper said. “Is Beyoncé 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,” she added. “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 hump you back.”

The rapper later took to Twitter to clarify her comments following heavy backlash over her comments.

Afropunk will release the name of a new headliner to replace M.I.A. next Tuesday. The festival, which has been held in Brooklyn since 2005, will take place in London this year on Sept. 24.