After having made last June 3rd, an homophobic rant on his facebook personal page, the lithuanian “Walking with Elephants” producer, Mario Basanov (Marijus Adomaitis) aka Ten Walls has triggered a chain reaction rather impressive against him and creating a general outcry from the gay community & many international artists & festivals.
Gay Star News reports that the Lithuanian producer went on to say homophobic statements and has compared homosexuality to child abuse by Catholic priests:
“ The good 90s… these people of different breed where fixed (…) One of my first gigs in Ireland, on my way to [my] hotel I saw a church with a fence decorated with hundreds of baby shoes. Naturally I wondered why? Unfortunately a priest’s lie for many years was uncovered when children were massively raped. Unfortunately the people of other breed continue to do it and everyone knows it but does nothing. ” – Ten Walls
Few hours later, the producer said sorry for the rant, writing:
“ I want to apologize for the former post in my account. I am really sorry about its insulting content which does not reflect my true opinion. I hope this misunderstanding will not provoke any more thoughts and opinions. Peace. ” – Ten Walls
But it was obviously too late to stop the wave, and in the next hours at least five festivals have removed Ten Walls from their lineups in response to this anti-gay comments. The festivals are Creamfields, PITCH, Pukkelpop, Urban Art Forms Festival and Sónar.
While The organisers of Austria’s Urban Art Forms also dropped Ten Walls from their festival, saying in a statement that they wanted to ensure “intolerance and discrimination” had no context in their event, all the others were more specific :
” Whilst we respect freedom of speech, we find his defamatory and prejudiced comments about the gay community extremely offensive and feel that this is not in line with the spirit of Creamfields. ” – Creamfields
” We are against any form of discrimination whatsoever, on and off our festival site. Comments like these are so far from our beliefs that it wouldn’t make any sense to have this act playing our festival. ” – PITCH Festival
” Ten Walls will no longer be appearing at Sónar 2015 as his statements are at odds with the nature and ethos of the festival. ” -Sónar Festival
Even worse, his booking agency Coda Music has released a statement saying it no longer represents him.
“ Coda Music Agency condemns all forms of discrimination based on race, religion or sexual orientation. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and to represent a hugely diverse roster of artists. We no longer represent Ten Walls. ” – Coda Music Agency
Last but not least, latest Ten Walls’ record, “Sparta“ which was about to be released on Phonica Records, has its pre-orders been cancelled.
“ We wont be stocking this record anymore due to Mario Basanov aka Ten Walls’ homophobic comments over the weekend”, says the store. “If you have pre-ordered it, your pre-order has been cancelled and money refunded. ” – Phonica Records
As declared to Gay Star News by lithuanian filmmaker Romas Zabarauskas – who is gay – the problem in that case is not to know if Ten Walls has shocked fans & has offended people, it’s obvious, the real problem is to know what he is really thinking about gay & LGBT people :
“ I am happy he apologized but it doesn’t explain what happened and he doesn’t explain what he really thinks about LGBT people. In Lithuania we are now considering same-sex marriage and partnership so we need support from famous people. ” – Romas Zabarauskas
It seems that the producer had sacrificed his entire career in the light of the scale of chain reactions. Aware of the uproar, he posted a message yesterday claiming that he “needs a break” from music and has “cancelled his upcoming shows.” maybe to calm down the storm, but is that will be enough, nothing is sure except a dark future.
“ Last week, I wrote a Facebook post that was wrong and completely out of character and the result was a badly written post that was unacceptable. It was never my intention to offend anyone. I’m really saddened by everything that has happened and I would like to apologise to everyone I’ve let down, especially to my friends in the gay community, and my fans. I now need to take a break and have cancelled my upcoming shows. ” – Ten Walls
Ten Walls became well-known in 2014 with his single “Walking With Elephants”, which reached number 6 on the UK Singles Chart. The official video for the song has over 4 million views on Youtube.