Jamaica broadcasting regulator bans music, TV shows that promote violence, drug use or crime

Jamaica’s broadcasting regulator has barred any music and TV shows that they believe will romanticize violence and promote any criminal activities such as violence, drug use, scamming and weapons.

The government stated the purpose of the ban is to remove any material that “could give the wrong impression that criminality is an accepted feature of Jamaican culture and society.”

Jamaica have struggled with their crime rate for years and they currently have the highest murder rate in Latin America, according to research from Insight Crime. 

The ban will not only apply to broadcasts and songs that reportedly glorify crime but will also target those which use “urban slang” that has anything to do with making money, wire transfers, building wealth or a luxury lifestyle. The ban cited specific words such as “jungle justice,” “bank/foreign account,” “food,” “wallet,” “purse,” “burner phone” and “client.”

Some Jamaican artists have hit out at the ban by saying it is futile and will do little to prevent crime and will also remove necessary conversations from communities that are suffering from high crime rates.

“Art imitates life, and the music is coming from what is happening in Jamaica for real,” Stephen McGregor, who is a Jamaica producer and singer said. “But because it doesn’t fit the moral mould of what they would like it to look like, they try to hamper it.”

McGregor went on to say that the ban is turning artists into scapegoats for the government’s failure to bring crime under control.

“The music that comes from that, people are not going to be creating happy, feel good ‘one love, one heart’ music in those circumstances,” McGregor said. “You can’t force the creatives to paint a picture that’s not really in front of us.”

Other Jamaican artists such as Rvssian, NotNice, and Romeich have also took to social media to hit out at the ban. They all noted that people will still be able to see the prohibited material on Spotify and YouTube.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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