Jamaica Banning Broadcasts Glorifying Drugs And Crime
Jamaica’s broadcasting regulator is reportedly banning music and television broadcasts they deem to glorify or promote criminal activity, drug use, violence, and more.
According to the Associated Press, the government said the move is meant to cut back on material that “could give the wrong impression that criminality is an accepted feature of Jamaican culture and society.”
The ban is receiving criticism by artists from the Caribbean nation, who say it cuts populations affected by heightened gun violence out of the conversation and that it will not effectively stop crime.
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“Art imitates life, and the music is coming from what is happening in Jamaica for real,” said Stephen McGregor, a Jamaican Grammy Award-winning music producer and singer, according to the AP. “But because it doesn’t fit the moral mold of what they would like it to look like, they try to hamper it.”
The directive also states that channels should avoid “urban slang” that has anything to do with making money, wire transfers, acquiring wealth or a lavish lifestyle. McGregor, however, said he viewed the ban as a free speech issue, and that the Jamaican government would be better served addressing root causes of violence like the pandemic-fueled economic crisis.
The ban comes after Jamaica’s spent years trying to combat its high levels of gun violence, which caused Jamaica to have the highest murder rate in Latin America and the Caribbean last year, according to research center Insight Crime.