The National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, quickly said, “Leave me out of that,” in response to another creative’s charge of political censorship during Carnival.
Errol Fabien, a politician, comic, and well-known MC alleges a concert promoter instructed him not to make any “anti-PNM” jokes during an event he was hired for over the weekend.
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After receiving the promoter’s order, Fabien said he denied to participate in the concert because he valued his masculinity more than the work. He referred to the promoter as a good buddy but did not give his name.
The majority of creative individuals, according to Fabien, may have to violate their morality in order to get money.
“I am sick and tired of us allowing party politics to get into everything. We can’t move on as a people from point A to B in our own best interest without politics slowing us down or retarding us from moving at all,” Fabien noted.
His dissatisfaction was expressed on Facebook.
Well, as I live and breathe,’ he continued, ” A promoter who engaged me to host a calypso show weekend gone, said to me ‘No anti-PNM jokes eh.’ Yuh hear what I saying… The man was as serious as a heart attack. I refuse to name the promoter because I consider him a friend and the issue is not him.”
“The issue is that it is okay for him to dare to say what he said. He is emboldened by the little people in this administration who will withhold if they come to the show and feel offended. And whilst it is his money he is spending and he has the right to demand what he is paying for, why call me? I am who I am.
Fabien remarked, “A calypso show is where, between the calypsonians and the MC, we deal with all societal goings on. If it becomes a pro-PNM charade then it is not of the people, it is of the few. Calypso is of the people. I need the work, but I need my manhood more. I did not do the show.”
Fabien said in a Newsday interview on Monday that he had not anticipated the level of attention his tweet would receive.
“I felt I needed to say something. Normally I will tell them how I feel and move on. I did not realize it would incur such strong and plentiful reactions.
“I really posted for the creatives to be aware. Not all of us can forego the money, sometimes you really need the money and you have to take it.
“I just want the creatives to know that everybody sometimes takes a position because of the politics and it could either minimise us or compromise us.”
Fabien asserted that he recognized his employer’s right to disclose the items they were purchasing while using his funds.
He stated, “I think we have a friendship, I think he will employ me again, so my point is, why are we allowing politics to get into everything?” in reference to this specific employer.
Only last week, calypsonian Lady Gypsy, the sister of NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters and the mother of Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez, said she was banned from performing her popular song Political Cemetery in the tents because it is seen to be critical of the PNM-led government.
NCC CEO Peters told Newsday he was not going down the path of censoring allegations made by some musicians when asked about them.
“I know nothing about that. I am the chairman of the NCC. I am not the chairman of the PNM or any other political group. I am not Errol Fabien’s manager. Errol Fabien’s encounter is private and I am not getting involved at all.”
Gypsy said that his sister, who beat him up in her song, is allowed to express her problems.
“TT is a democratic country and I think it is one of the most freedom-speaking countries in the world. The country is so free that I reserve the right not to have an opinion at all on this point.
“We do not suppress anybody’s speech. People are free to say what they want.”
However, he said, “We also have laws of libel in the country, so if people feel offended in any way, there are recourses they can turn to.”