LIME Jamaica caught up in rape and homophobia scandal
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday April 10, 2012 – LIME Jamaica’s offer of cash, computers and an all-expenses-paid concert featuring popular artiste Potential Kidd for the winners of this year’s ISSA Boys’ and Girls’ Athletic Championships has turned into a marketing nightmare for the telecommunications giant.
In a release issued Tuesday, LIME Jamaica’s Managing Director, Garry Sinclair, was forced to issue a clear the air statement asserting that LIME does not support any idea or sentiment that promotes unlawful or anti-social behaviour against any person in the society, as protest against its use of a song by Potential Kidd to promote the competition has escalated in Jamaica.
LIME was using the hit song “A yah suh Nice” by Potential Kidd as its theme for the promotion, which was launched March 23. However, the unedited version of the song carries the words: “Before mi tun a battyman, mi wudda tun a raper,” which set off a firestorm of protests over the implication that it was better for an individual to be a rapist than a homosexual. Defenders of homosexual rights and opposers to violence against women took to the media to vehemently protest the use of the song, especially in a competition aimed at school children.
In a letter to The Gleaner, T Roache wrote: “Do we listen to what we endorse? What message are we sending to our children by playing such songs, even if abridged, on radio?
“Some of our artistes need to be more responsible and creative in their writing and discard negative messages. Don’t they have mothers, sisters and daughters? How would they feel about someone harbouring thoughts of raping a female family member?
“We need to do better as a society and refrain from negative messages.”
One unidentified Jamaican blogger wrote: “The words fuel dangerous stereotypes and myths which already exist in the Jamaican society about women, their sexuality and the relation to rape. Chief among them [is] the idea that a man’s sexual prowess must never be curtailed. Jamaica already records an alarming trend of rapes, abduction and sexual violence against our women, it is unacceptable for DJs to be suggesting that it is justifiable to rape.
“The dancehall audiences that readily accept these lyrics must be called to task. Our people need to challenge our artistes to find creative ways of expressing themselves, without advocating homophobia, sexual violence and murder. These lyrics again bring into question the co-relation between dancehall and criminal deviance among our young people. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, when artistes who are so revered advocate these kinds of behaviours, our youth are susceptible to accepting them as legitimate. Our society has to guard against this.
In its statement on Tuesday, LIME said following concern about the content of the unedited version of Kidd’s single Ah Yah So Nice, it decided to facilitate a meeting between the artiste and some people who were troubled by the lyrics.
In a message posted on its social media pages, LIME said, after analyzing the unedited version of the song, it agreed that the lyrics were unacceptable.
“What we would want is for our artistes to express themselves freely but responsibly and we think civil society can play a big role in this regard,” said Sinclair.
Potential Kidd has also reportedly apologized to persons who may have been offended by the lyrics.
“I do not support violence against women or homosexuals,” he is quoted as saying in the release from LIME.