In the wake of the banning of Jamaican dancehall artistes Bounty Killa and Movado from entering Guyana, management of the National Communications Network, NCN, is reviewing whether to discontinue the airing of music with explicit sexual and violent connotations.
Programme Director of NCN, Martin Goolsarran, told this newspaper that the company is taking steps to alter its programme content with regards to the type of music being played on the airwaves.According to Goolsarran, the matter is currently being addressed and a decision is likely soon.
“We recognized the kind of music that is being played on the airwaves and you don’t want to have a double standard,” Goolsarran told this newspaper.The NCN’s 98.1 Hot FM is a major conduit of Jamaican dancehall music with a number of sponsored programmes hosted by some of the country’s top disc jockeys.
“Hopefully we can get people to conform to our policy of not airing music that has a certain message,” Goolsaran stated.
On Monday, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee announced the ban on the two artistes. Rohee noted that his ministry has been exerting every effort, tolerance and patience with local sponsors of public shows held from time to time in Guyana.
The two controversial performers have been cited for their lyrics, which promote homophobia (the fear and sometimes hatred of people who are perceived as gay, lesbian, or bisexual) and violence.Bounty Killa recently performed in Guyana, and despite promises to refrain from using homophobic lyrics, the artiste blatantly violated the terms of his agreement.
Movado, meanwhile, was scheduled to perform at an upcoming event at Linden.According to Minister Rohee, several meetings were held collectively and individually with sponsors of these shows.
A joint meeting was also held with sponsors and the inter-religious bodies to discuss law and order issues for hosting such events, as well as the need for artistes to avoid gun lyrics, lewdness, and appeals to violence.
He said that commitments were made by the sponsors to ensure that these undertakings were honoured. However, the recent developments at one of these public shows have indicated that these commitments were honoured in the breach.
“Consequently, Bounty Killa has been placed on the blacklist and will not be allowed to enter this jurisdiction until such time as the authorities may determine. Similarly, on a separate and unrelated matter, the local sponsors of Movado have been informed well in advance that the Jamaican artiste will not be allowed to enter the jurisdiction for security and other reasons,”
Minister Rohee said.Popular local disc jockey DJ Garwin of the Slingerz Sound System told this newspaper that a possible ban on music with strong sexual and violent content from the national radio will not affect his programme.“I don’t play much of their (Movado and Bounty Killa) music.
If it is a dance, yes, because some people like it and they respond but on radio with more listeners you have to be responsible,” DJ Garwin told Kaieteur News.Former Programme Manager of the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation, Margaret Lawrence, in an invited comment said that there is a general rule that offensive lyrics such as those degrading women and advocating violence should not be allowed on the airwaves.
“When I was at radio, producers had to submit a music sheet beforehand and the music director would usually look at it and approve it. You can’t ban Movado on one hand and then play his music on the airwaves. It must be consistent,” Lawrence told this newspaper.
One Jamaican radio producer said on a recent call-in programme that he could not see why the two artistes had to resort to the type of performance that would hurt them in the long run. “They are both talented artistes.” Meanwhile, another local radio personality who asked not to be named noted that should the ban be extended to radio, it will certainly help local artistes.
“I don’t mind the ban, since it is not in keeping with what the youngsters should be hearing. If the ban will benefit the airing of more music by local artistes, then it is welcomed.”