Jamaica Makes an Attempt to Curb Violence

Tv Programming and Music glorifying violence to be banned

Jamaica is trying to crack down on the violence on its islands. The Jamaican Broadcasting Commission issued a ban on broadcast and music that glorifies criminal activity, drug use, weapons, and scamming. This was passed on Tuesday, October 11th.

Lloyd Waller, Commission Chairman, stated that using public airwaves for overtly violent content, “could give the wrong impression that criminality is an accepted feature of Jamaican culture and society.” He continued by saying, “It could also unwittingly lend support to moral disengagement and further normalize criminality among vulnerable and impressionable youth, and the young adult demographic.” But, the ban does not apply to digital platforms.

The ban was placed into effect immediately and reactions began to flood social media. During an interview with The Guardian, Jamaican Grammy award-winning music producer, and singer Stephen McGregor said, “Art imitates life, and the music is coming from what is happening in Jamaica for real, but because it doesn’t fit the moral mould of what they would like it to look like, they try to hamper it.”

The ban states that recordings with lyrics that promote or reference the criminal activity of scamming through the use of urban slang and phrases, including variations of choppa phones, burner phone, chop the line, and client are prohibited.

Romeich, Jamaican musician and entertainment executive Romeich wrote, “While I understand why people feel like this and even I don’t agree with glorifying guns or any use of any drug at all, we can’t stop the creatives (artistes) from singing about what they see around them or grew around.”

This ban was attempted once before in February of 2009. At that time the ban was because the music was deemed to be too sexually explicit.