Campbell apologises for 'shape like economy' tweet
Jenaae Jackson, recipient of the Best Figure award in the Miss Jamaica World 2013 contest, says she has no hard feelings towards Dr Dayton Campbell, the member of parliament for North West St Ann, who made an unflattering comment about her on the social networking website, Twitter.
"I think it is very unfortunate that a man in his position would say something about a contestant who is running to represent Jamaica. I am confident and I know that I have a great figure and I feel I'm deserving of the prize," Jackson told The Gleaner yesterday.
Reacting to Jackson being adjudged the contestant with the best shape in the pageant, Campbell on Sunday night posted on his Twitter page: "bout best shape, she shape like the Jamaican economy."
The comment by the MP triggered widespread condemnation from Twitter users who regarded the post as irresponsible and inappropriate.
Among those who responded to Campbell were sport management expert Carole Beckford, who tweeted, "Our values are eroding slowly but surely."
Another follower, @dpos_smith, simply tweeted, "Irresponsible!"
Campbell would later remove the post and say sorry for his comment.
Earlier this year, Campbell also came under fire for anti-gay comments in which he tweeted about homosexual American R&B artiste Frank Ocean: "Frank Ocean man fi have ooman pon dem mind. How di hell man end up on your mind massah?? Bob done tell you say man to man is so unjust!!!"
Despite criticism of his public comments in that case, the parliamentarian never apologised.
Yesterday, in one of two posts expressing remorse over his latest controversy, Campbell tweeted: "To whom much is given much is expected, I should know better. Sorry madam. Apologies also to people in twitter land."
Campbell told The Gleaner yesterday he meant no harm by the comment.
"I had no malintention. It was something I heard on a Twin of Twins CD and thought it was comedic. I meant no disrespect to the young lady. As a matter of fact, she is a very beautiful young lady," the Government MP said.
'Play on words'
Campbell said further that it was just a play on words and that he has admitted to doing something wrong.
"After all, I am human," Campbell said.
"I have apologised (on Twitter) to the young lady, her family, those who use the social media, and my own family for letting them down in that regard."
Meanwhile, Jackson, when asked if such comments could discourage young women from entering the competition in the future, said: "I don't think it will. I believe you should be comfortable with yourself and disregard negative comments made by people like him."
Jackson said she "absolutely" accepted Campbell's apology and that she wished him all the best.
Laura Butler, franchise holder for the Miss Jamaica World pageant, told The Gleaner that Campbell's behaviour was reckless and attention seeking.
"I think it's a waste of energy to really comment on things that are negative and pointless and unkind," Butler said.
Jackson finished as first runner-up to 2013 Miss Jamaica World Gina Hargitay.
- Roxanne Williams and Davion Smith