Don Omar & Ozuna Beef Highlights the Homophobia in Latin Music


Earlier this week Dominican-Puerto Rican reggaeton artist, Ozuna revealed he was the victim of an extortion attempt that involved a pornographic video that featured two men and the artist when he was underaged. Ozuna’s management, Dimelo VI confirmed the news in a statement that was obtained by PEOPLE. But what’s really been disturbing people are the homophobic statements reggaeton artist Don Omar has been making about Ozuna on social media since the news broke out.

The content that has been disclosed on the internet confirms the information that our lawyers released yesterday confirming that the urban music artist Ozuna was extorted with an intimate video where he was a minor,” the statement read. “The necessary legal measures are already being taken since sending and publishing videos of minors is a state and federal offense.”

Ozuna has since released his own statement apologizing for the video and has confirmed that his legal team has taken action against the people who extorted him.

What happened was a mistake of the past. Like many young people, I made a mistake fueled by ignorance,” he said in a statement that was published by Billboard. “Today I’m not only sorry for what happened, but I condemn it. That’s why I looked for help and I am certain everything will be cleared. Likewise, I’m following the process and am always willing to collaborate with authorities to prevent the evil that resulted from this big mistake. More importantly, I ask my family for forgiveness. They are my life’s priority and I will continue to fight for them always.”

Ozuna’s lawyer Antonio Sagardia confirmed that the artist had been the victim of extortion attempt allegedly carried out by Puerto Rican rapper Kevin Fret who was recently murdered. Kevin Fret was an openly gay Puerto Rican Latin trap artist who was killed in Puerto Rico and many suspect he was killed because he was gay.

After Ozuna’s extortion news hit the internet, Don Omar started posting a series of homophobic posts targeting the artist.

“Lunch break! Alguno de ustedes come [duck emoji]? Yo no,” he wrote which translates to: Do any of you eat duck?

If you grew up in the Latinx community than you’d know that the word duck translates to pato in Spanish and is often used as a homophobic slur towards gay men. It’s just as harmful as calling someone fag or faggot. Omar didn’t end there, he then went as far as posting a video of a duck on top of a teddy bear. Keep in mind that Ozuna’s logo is a teddy bear.

Omar has since made a public statement saying there’s no way he’s homophobic because he has queer relatives which basically proves he not only has learned nothing but doesn’t understand that you can in fact still be homophobic regardless of whether or not you have queer family. Folks on Twitter have even called it out.

The Latin music industry has developed a reputation for being heavily machista and homophobic and Fret’s death and Don Omar’s statements prove we really haven’t made all that much progress at all. Fortunately, there are folks in the industry who don’t condone this behavior. Latin trap artist Bad Bunny was quick to call out Omar’s problematic behavior.

Homophobia in this day and age? He wrote. “How embarrassing, loco.”

Bad Bunny is a great example of an artist who is intentionally trying to break away from the homophobia that’s shamelessly been embraced in the Latin music industry for years. He’s been unapologetically rocking manicures and in his latest music video for his single “Caro,” Bad Bunny is seen getting his nails painted. The video itself also explores gender nonconformity as we see Bad Bunny quickly morph into a female.

Fret was another one who was really trying to challenge macho behavior and misogyny in his music. He confidently flaunted his queer pride in songs like “Soy Asi.” He was a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community and was unapologetic about his gender presentation, often rocking a beat face achieved by his insanely good makeup skills. But Fret’s open sexuality and aim to challenge societal norms in Latin trap music later made him a target of harassment. Before he was murdered, Puerto Rican Latin trap singer Anuel AA released a homophobic track called “Intocable” dissing Fret.

Unchecked homophobia in the Latin music industry is a serious problem. It’s 2019, this kind of behavior should no longer be accepted inside or outside of the music industry.

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