Protest in Beverly Hills
Time Warner Inc.’s annual shareholders meeting at the Regent Beverly Wilshire this week might be the gunfight at the First Amendment corral, with Ice-T’s ”Cop Killer” single continuing to draw fire and rumors of an upcoming album by rap singer Paris triggering further outrage.
The Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas and Oliver North’s Freedom Alliance Foundation have threatened to target the meeting. North has even enlisted Florida attorney Jack Thompson (leader of the 1990 censorship drive against 2 Live Crew’s explicit rap lyrics), who argues that Ice-T’s new album, Body Count, is illegal under federal sedition, anarchy, and incitement-to-riot laws. While Time Warner is standing behind the Ice-T recording as constitutionally protected speech, it has disassociated itself from the Paris project. (An early album cover proposal reportedly showed a gunman about to ambush President Bush.)
Robert Morgado, chairman of the Warner Music Group, says, ”The proposed album was never released for sale to the public. Second, this proposed album as described in some news stories will not be produced by any company within the Warner Music Group. Third, we have not and would not approve the album cover artwork depicted in some news stories.” Time Warner won’t comment on how it will handle the carnival of protesters who might show up at its door.