Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley. (FP)
Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, has shared his views on a controversial Barbadian music video that has gone viral on social media.
In a statement issued today, Mr. Lashley said that after viewing some segments of the music video ‘Blows’, performed by Rameses Brown and Lady Essence, he agreed that there was basis for the concern voiced by members of the public.
The Culture Minister pointed out that there was a great need for artistes to remain socially responsible.
“While recognising an artiste’s right to freedom of expression, there remains the important point that artistes much be cognisant of the sensitivities of their markets,” he stated.
Mr. Lashley also pointed out that although it was that artiste’s choice to depict “generally unacceptable or lewd behaviours in their music videos or songs”, there was also a need to acknowledge the public’s response to the product.
“Where there is an overstepping of the bounds of decency and there is negative public response, then they (the artistes) cannot be upset when the consuming public expresses its views,” he reasoned.
According to the Minister, the varying responses to the video not only provide the “opportunity for discussion of what we as a society will accept” but also reveal the tremendous impact music and music videos can have on the wider public.
“Artistes, whether or not they acknowledge it, are role models in our society, and there is a public expectation that they will live up to that responsibility. I believe that the producers should accept the concerns raised and address them in future productions,” he advised.
While underscoring the artistes’ right to freedom of expression, Mr. Lashley cautioned them to be more socially responsible when producing work for public consumption.