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Pepsi does damage control over Sponsorship of Anti-Gay Artist

PepsiCo (PEP) has issued an apology for its sponsorship of a performance in Uganda by Beenie Man, a Jamaican reggae artist who has drawn criticism for his anti-gay lyrics, many of which advocate murdering homosexuals.

"We are appalled by the performer's lyrics and find them repugnant," Pepsi said in a statement. "Our bottling partner in Uganda was not aware of the performer's views and never would have sponsored the concert with this knowledge. Moving forward, we will work closely with our bottling partners to be more vigilant about the events associated with our brands."

That the concert took place in Uganda was particularly significant, as the African country has recently considered making the death penalty its official legal response to homosexuality.

Pepsi is more accustomed to facing criticism on GLBT issues from the other side -- the American Family Association has called for a boycott of Pepsi because of its "financial support [for] homosexual organizations," including Human Rights Campaign and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

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