Damion Crawford is contesting the ban Guyana has placed on dancehall artiste Skeng, prohibiting him from performing at public events after shots were fired at the Baderation concert.
Contesting that the Guyanese government is being “illogical and unfair”, he presented the argument that Skeng had no control over what took place at the concert as it was a Guyanese citizen who had fired the gun and, following the explosions, Skeng was ridiculed by several Guyanese who said he was afraid and ran off the stage. Senator Crawford outlined during the On Stage interview that the promoter of the event was not “sufficient” in ensuring that a firearm was not carried into the venue by a “lawless individual”.
“Instead of saying that for events that have persons like Skeng, you must have added security, or saying for events that have persons like Skeng, you have no more than the capacity, you’re going to say Skeng is gonna be banned from earning an income,” he explained as he labelled the Guyanese government’s actions as “prejudiced”. In regards to Skeng being allowed to perform at private events, Crawford explained that being confined to only private events would still “dramatically’ impact the income he can earn.
Crawford continued to outline the seriousness of the situation which he believes the Jamaican Government is responding to with mere acceptance instead of “defending what is an earning potential for so many Jamaicans”. To the Senator’s knowledge, Skeng returned from Guyana with maybe $2 million to $3 million. Now, Skillibeng, who he believes should have an upcoming event in Guyana, will possibly be affected by the prohibition which outlines that no artiste like Skeng will be allowed to perform publicly.
As he explained that entertainment is a service, similar to products that are exported from the country, Crawford posed the question, “why wouldn’t we not defend it in the same way we defend alcohol or patty coming out of Jamaica? Why is it that entertainment has been left to struggle every time?”
Entertainers before Skeng have faced similar restrictions before, such as Movado who was banned by Guyana and Bounty Killer who was banned by Trinidad. When asked for his thoughts on the allegations of Jamaica promoting violence, Crawford denied sharing those beliefs as he saw no proof of that being true, nor did he find any truth behind the reoccurring argument that entertainment causes criminal activities.
Crawford also argued that Prime Minister Andrew Holness has been “selling that lie”, spreading that entertainment causes crime. While movies, comics, cartoons and games with gun violence are said to not have any impact on crime, artistes are believed to have such a major impact on crime to the point where they are banned, which Crawford describes as “illogical and nonsensical”.
“Skeng had a minimal impact on a negative person,” he stated. “All I am saying is there should be equity. There are negative outcomes of many products. As I said, driving under the influence of alcohol can have a negative outcome. Should Alcohol therefore not be defended if an individual took a decision to consume alcohol and then drive? That is the point, the simple point I am making.”
Crawford is calling out Prime Minister Andrew Holness to take action and defend Jamaica’s entertainment.
Watch Damion Crawford’s interview with OnStage below.