BY TRACY CONNOR and BILL HUTCHINSON
Monday, March 7th, 2005
The Rev. Al Sharpton is calling for a 90-day ban on radio and TV airplay for any performer who uses violence to settle scores or hype albums.
"There has to be a way to step in and regulate what's going on with the airwaves and with violence," Sharpton told the Daily News yesterday. "The airwaves are being used to romanticize urban violence."
The activist minister plans to ask the Federal Communications Commission and the country's major radio broadcasters to back his proposal.
His call follows last week's shooting outside Hot 97 radio's SoHo studios that apparently was sparked by a feud between rappers 50 Cent and The Game.
A member of The Game's entourage, Kevin Reed, 23, of Compton, Calif., was shot in the buttocks after 50 Cent bad-mouthed The Game during an on-air interview at the radio station.
Bad blood between 50 Cent and The Game continued to boil over the weekend when The Game challenged his former mentor to "Come get me, you little bitch!" during a concert in Long Beach, Calif.
Last night, 50 Cent was escorted through LaGuardia Airport by Port Authority cops "for his own protection" when he arrived on a plane from Detroit about 8 p.m., a Port Authority spokesman said.
Said Sharpton, "We may not be able to stop people from shooting, but we can stop people from profiting from the violence." Sharpton declined to comment specifically on the beef between 50 Cent, who was born Curtis Jackson, and The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor.
Sharpton said he has no intention of trying to broker peace between the two rap stars, who have both recently released top-selling CDs.
"You can't deal with this on an artist-by-artist basis," he said. "I'm not going to become a mediator between artists. This is a recurring problem."
In a letter Sharpton plans to send to the FCC and broadcasters, he said the outcry against violence among entertainers should be just as loud as the response last year to Janet Jackson's breast-baring Super Bowl stunt.
"I recall the outrage that the FCC and others displayed in response to the Super Bowl performance of Janet Jackson," Sharpton wrote. "Yet, when acts of violence happen around radio stations that actually have caused bloodshed, there has been a strange and disturbing silence from all quarters."