1. Molotov is a four-time Latin Grammy Award-winning band from Mexico City.
2. The group has been the center of controversy for anti-gay lyrics from its popular song “Puto.”
3. In the song, from Molotov’s 1997 album Donde Jugarán Las Niñas, the lyrics translate to:
So you are macho man, no? Ah, so macho, no?
Faggot, girly, you’re rather a little male-whore, no?
FAG!! He who doesn’t jump up and down
FAG!! He who doesn’t shout and swear
FAG!! The guy who remained in conformity
FAG!! He who believed the official reports
FAG!! He who takes away our food
FAG!! Also he who covers it up
FAG!! He who doesn’t do whatever he wants
FAG!! Born a fag, dies a fag
Love the killer
Kill the faggot
And what does that son of a bitch want?
He wants to cry, he wants to cry.
4. The band’s producer, Gustavo Sanaolalla, defended the group’s usage of the slur in an interview:
About the homophobic thing, I’ll clear that up now: in the song ‘Puto’, the word is in no way used as an attack on the homosexual community, at all. Its used like the word “turro” would be in Argentina, for example, a guy who is …y’know… a wretch, a loser, a bad-vibe guy. Its not an insult to a homosexual. The lyrics say, ‘Puto, who takes away our grub/Puto who believes what’s on the news…’ Its directed specifically to that type of person. And as for the sexism, the songs are all made with humor and aimed precisely at all that Latino-Macho mentality.
5. This past July, in light of an alleged hate crime against a gay Chilean teen, the band stated they would no longer use the anti-gay lyric.
6. The band released this statement via its Facebook page:
7. Many felt these actions weren’t quite enough.
Dear @MolotovBanda, why is “maricon” homophobic enough not to sing it during U.S. shows while you still plan to sing it in Latin America?/ Via
8. Tonight, the group is scheduled to perform at the Fillmore Silver Spring in Washington, D.C. on the last stop of its North American tour.
9. One month before the scheduled concert, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett asked the venue to cancel the performance.
According to the Washington Blade, Legget wrote in a letter Thursday to Stephanie Steele, general manager at the Fillmore, “I have serious concerns about this booking.I am personally offended.”
10. The venue refused to cancel the show.
“The Fillmore presents a wide variety of music, comedy and other entertainment […] The views expressed by all of our acts are not necessarily shared by the venue or staff,” Jim Yeager, a spokesman for Live Nation, responded in a statement.
11. Now, LGBT groups and Equality Maryland are staging an educational protest at the venue.
12. Evan Glass, Equality Maryland Board Chair, released the following statement:
Please join Equality Maryland, Casa Ruby and others from around the area to educate fans going to the Molotov concert at the Filmore on Monday, August 26th.
Molotov is a Latin Grammy Award winning Mexican rock band. They are on a U.S. tour right now. One of their songs, “Puto” contains the phrase “matarile al maricon,” which translates to “kill the faggot.” This phrase was recently used by a group of people who attacked Esteban Navarro in Chile and is too frequently used all around Spanish speaking communities.
We appreciate that Molotov released a statement saying, “no one should be a target of violence because they are LGBT.” They also said they would refrain from using this hurtful phrase during their US tour. However, they should stop using this word in any country and should encourage their fans to not use it. Words matter. Words may hurt or heal. We must stand united against hatred and violence.
We will talk to fans as they enter the concert and share why words matter and encourage them to sign a petition urging Molotov to stop using this phrase at all their concerts and to encourage their fans from using it as well. We will also have a postcard for fans that they can take and read later. People can also go online and sign a petition at www.equalitymaryland.org/words-matter.
We will meet in front of the Filmore, 8656 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910 at 6:30 on Monday, August 26, 2013. Please feel free to bring signs. We will provide petitions and postcards.