Drake pulls out of Toronto film festival

Rapper Drake had been due to introduce the film "Monsters and Men," about a Brooklyn community rocked by the police shooting death of a black man, to a Canadian audience, but pulled out citing a scheduling conflict

Rapper Drake pulled out of the Toronto film festival at the last minute on Thursday, citing a scheduling conflict on his current music tour.

He was due in the evening to introduce the film "Monsters and Men," about a Brooklyn community rocked by the police shooting death of a black man, to a Canadian audience.

Drake is executive producer of the film.

In a statement, his publicists said the film "is a project very close to Drake's heart," adding that he feels "strongly about its ability to positively inspire dialogue."

"But due to scheduling commitments on his current tour he unfortunately will not be able to attend and introduce the film at TIFF."

Drake first walked the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival last year for "The Carter Effect," about NBA player Vince Carter.

His was the second exit from TIFF this week, after organizers nixed director Melanie Laurent's "Galveston" from its Gala Presentations lineup, saying she would be unable to attend due to "work commitments."

Toronto requires filmmakers in its top movie category be present for screenings.

Organizers slotted "A Private War," about legendary war correspondent Marie Colvin in its stead.