Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Views differ on conduct and content

Published:Thursday | May 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle/Gleaner Writer
Keona Williams

Executive director of the Broadcasting Commission, Cordel Green, says that in trying to regulate content companies run the risk of infringing on people's rights. This comes against the background of Spotify's recent decision on not promoting songs based on 'hate' content and conduct.

"We will always be looking at content and making determina-tions regarding harm and appropriateness for certain audiences, but the fact that someone has committed a crime doesn't say that the content that they have created is problematic. For example, if you sing gospel songs and you are pastor and for some transgression or the other you are carted off and sent to prison, it doesn't make the gospel songs harmful. So the notion that you ban music simply because of the transgression of the artiste is problematic," he explained.

"Very often, when people respond to a song they focus their attention on the artiste, but they fail often to recognise that the artiste is only one person who has contributed to that song. In many cases, there is a songwriter, a producer, musicians who play on it, so when you are going to treat a song based on what the artiste has done, you could be in fact unfair to other people who haven't done anything."

Keona Williams, artiste manger and publicist, shared some views similar to Green on a regulatory body being formed to make determinations regarding bans. However, unlike Green who believes the music shouldn't suffer because of the artiste, Williams believes that if the artiste is convicted of a serious crime, they should face some repercussions.

"I don't think it should be a lifetime ban or anything but I believe if you do something wrong it comes with repercussions, especially as a public figure," she said, explaining that Spotify needs to now come up with "time frames" for banned artistes based on the severity of their crimes. "All the artistes should not be treated in the same manner. Their punishment should fit the crime, so Spotify's system should be similar to the court system," Williams said.