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Culture minister regrets Queen Ifrica's Gala gay comments

Published:Friday | August 9, 2013 | 8:08 PM

The Culture Ministry has released a statement expressing regret that the Grand Gala stage was used by reggae artiste Queen Ifrica as a platform to express anti-gay comments.



According to the Ministry, it is now reviewing the system of contractual engagement of artistes and suppliers for national events as well as improving quality control to ensure there is no recurrence.



SEE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:



The Ministry of Youth and Culture expresses our regret that the Grand Gala stage was used by one artiste, Queen Ifrica as a platform to express her personal opinions and views on matters that may be considered controversial, rather than to perform in the agreed scripted and rehearsed manner consistent with the thematic production.



Furthermore, the comments by the artiste were inappropriate in the setting of a national, state-funded event with more than 20,000 persons, including children, who were in the National Stadium and thousands more watching on television and online.



Queen Ifrica was selected to be a part of the production because of her usually conscious lyrics as a reggae artiste.




READ: 'I SPOKE FOR WHAT I BELIEVED IN' - Queen Ifrica defends Grand Gala performance after JFLAG backlash



There were prior discussions with all artistes about the expectation required of them during the show.



The Grand Gala was an opportunity for celebration through the artistic display of the performing arts as a vehicle to help the nation reflect not just on the many hurdles we have overcome as a nation, but also to reinforce the value of coexistence, unity and respect for one another as part of a cultural revolution in the nation.



The Ministry of Youth and Culture sought to produce and execute a Grand Gala show that traced our rich history and culture while charting the future of Jamaica as the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.



Artistes were therefore selected based on their ability to authentically recount and portray the various phases and periods of the “Emancipendence” journey of Jamaica.



The Ministry is reviewing the system of contractual engagement of artistes and suppliers for national events as well as improving quality control to ensure there is no recurrence.




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