Geoff Ruderham Black Diamond FM 107.8, 2 September 2019, 12:23
Black Diamond FM is a community radio station in East and Central Midlothian. The licence for this service is held by Midlothian Community Media Association
Ofcom received two complaints about offensive language in the music track Melting Pot by Blue Mink broadcast in a music programme presented by Geoff Ruderham. No introduction to the track was broadcast, or any other content
discussing it. The track included the following lyrics:
“Take a pinch of white man, Wrap him up in black skin, Add a touch of blue blood, And a little bitty bit of Red Indian boy. Oh, Curly Latin
kinkies, Mixed with yellow Chinkies, If you lump it all together And you got a recipe for a get along scene; Oh what a beautiful dream If it could only come true, you know, you know.
What we need is a great big
melting pot, Big enough to take the world and all it’s got And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more And turn out coffee-coloured people by the score”.
Ofcom recently published a Resolved Decision for the broadcast
of this track by another radio station, Gold. Ofcom were not happy about the broadcast but because the radio station had apologised and promised not to do it again, Ofcom said the matter was resolved.
We considered that references
in the lyrics (including yellow Chinkies, Red Indian boy, curly Latin kinkies and coffee-coloured people) raised potential issues under the following Code rule:
Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards
broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of race )
Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3
We considered the demographic of the station's
audience as set out in its Licence, which makes clear that it has a particular focus on youth and disadvantaged communities. We considered that young people would be unlikely to have an existing knowledge of Melting Pot and the contextual background of
the track's release and would therefore be an audience more likely to require contextual justification to mitigate the potential for offence -- for example, some on air explanation of the song's purpose at the time of its release, or a warning about the
language it included. Ofcom's offensive language research, which was conducted with people of all age groups, shows that the use of derogatory language to describe ethnic groups carries a widespread potential for offence. Therefore, in Ofcom's view, the
likely audience expectations did not mitigate the potential for offence in this case.
So is the modern age, with its tightly
proscribed wrong words and correct words, made for an any more harmonious society? Doesn't seem so to me. Society is more fractious now than it has been for a long time.
The Tanzanian media censor has banned female rapper Rosa Ree from performing for six months, claiming her recently released music video went against the country's' morals.
The censorship body that regulates the arts industry in Tanzania, Baraza la
Sanaa la Taifa (Basata), added that the song Vitamin U which the rapper performed with her Kenyan musician boyfriend, Timmy Tdat, also contravened its regulations.
The suspension means Rosa Ree will also not be allowed to perform outside
the country and will have to pay a $870 (£675) fine, The Citizen newspaper reports.
The original video that offended the censors has now been taken down and replaced with an 'official' version which blurs all the shots showing Rosa Ree with her
own or Timmy Tdat's hands holding her breasts. This censored version has score about 220,000 views. The uncensored version is available on Pornhub.
A drill rapper has been banned from using specific slang words in music videos in what is believed to be the first case of its kind.
Ervine Kimpalu, who goes by the artist name Rico Racks, was issued with a special five year Criminal Behaviour Order
when he appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday preventing him from referring to several drug-related words in his online rap videos. The words were bandoe, trapping, Booj, connect, shotting, whipping and Kitty .
It also bans
him from possessing articles linked to drug dealing and from owning more than one mobile phone.
Racks, of Kings Cross, central London, features in several music videos posted on social media in which he is said to glamourise drug dealing.
Rocketman is a 2019 UK / USA musical music biography by Dexter Fletcher. Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden.
The Malaysian film censor has cut scenes which depicted depicted men kissing and
having sex with one another. Safaruddin Mohammad Ali, head of the Film Censorship Board explained:
We do not allow any scenes that promote LGBTQ in films that are for public viewing.
film censor commented that although it is about the real life of Elton John, it is not for him to allow the public to see whatever he does or whatever activities he indulges in that is not our culture,
The film was also cut by the distributors in
Russia over fears of the country's anti gay laws. Rocket man was also banned in Samoa.
A major Lebanese music festival has cancelled a concert by the country's best-known rock band, Mashrou' Leila , to prevent bloodshed after church leaders accused the group of blasphemy.
The Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Byblos claimed last
week that Mashrou' Leila's songs violate religious values and demanded the gig be pulled. Facebook users had threatened to stop the show by force, with some claiming to be God's Soldiers.
Lawmakers in Byblos urged the festival's organisers to pull
the concert to respect sanctities and morals.
The Byblos festival duly cancelled explaining that it was forced to cancel the group's performance next week on security grounds. Christians had threatened to attack the concert if it went ahead.
Mashrou' Leila's lead singer is openly gay and the band tackles taboos that few other Arab musicians have explored.
The band blamed a defamatory campaign relying exclusively on fabrications that couldn't be further from the truth. The band said
in a statement:
We are not on some sort of mission to arbitrarily blaspheme and disrespect people's religious symbols.
Ben McOwen Wilson the head of YouTube UK said that the website not remove drill music videos from the platform saying that they provide a place for those too often without a voice.
He Said that YouTube must work with government and regulators to find
a balance on removing content.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, McOwen Wilson had a knock at the vague government internet censorship plan outline in the Online Harms white paper. He said it was right that anything which is illegal offline should
not be permitted online, but added that deciding when to remove videos which were legal but could be considered potentially harmful was a greater issue facing the tech industry. He said:
Drawing a line on content
that should be removed isn't always clear. For example, as communities are working to address the issue of gang violence, we too find ourselves developing the right way to play our part.
While some have argued there is no place
for drill music on YouTube, we believe we can help provide a place for those too often without a voice.
To strike this balance, we work with the Metropolitan Police, community groups and experts to understand local context and
take action where needed.
Offsite Comment: YouTube is right to defend drill
The British state's war on rappers is authoritarian and racist.
The BBC says a rap song broadcast on Asian Network and Radio 1 did not meet its editorial standards and will not be played again.
The track, Chaabian Boyz by Frenzo Harami, has been accused of glamorising sexual exploitation, for lyrics which refer to
profiting from a prostitution ring. Harami rapped:
I got 20 white girls... laying on their backs for P [money]
The song received limited plays on late-night shows hosted by Kan D Man and Bobby
Friction, who described it as proper grimy, grimy, grimy. Although it was edited to remove swearing, the rest of the lyrical content apparently went unchecked.
In a statement, the BBC said:
A version of the
track which did not meet our editorial standards was played on Asian Network produced shows, in error.
Brazilian metal band Sepultura has been banned from entering Lebanon after members were accused of being devil worshippers.
According to Al Araby, Lebanon's General Security denied the artist visa applications for the band members. Skull Session,
an organizer of metal events in Beirut, released a statement:
We are as outraged and angry as all of you will be.
We were told that the issue is delicate as it relates to insulting Christianity, that the band members are devil
worshippers, that they held a concert in Israel, that they filmed a video clip supporting Israel, and that the decision was issued by the head of the General Security Forces.
Skull Session denied these allegations, and criticized the
recurring forms of censorship in Lebanon.
In 1993, Sepultura shot the music video for Territory in both Israel and Palestine, according to Loudwire . But, Skull Session confirmed that the band had not played a show in Israeli territory.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) chief censor Ezekiel Mutua has officially banned the viral song dubbed Takataka by upcoming rapper Alvin aka Alvindo.
Mutua blacklisted the song claiming that it is obscene and has degrading lyrics
that advocate for violence against women by equating them to trash. Mutua described the song as primitive and abusive saying that the song has crude lyrics that objectifies women and glorifies hurting them as a normal reaction to the rejection of
overtures by men. He added:
KFCB will institute criminal proceedings against the artist in 14 days if he fails to respond to our summons for a meeting where he can be accompanied by his lawyer.
Mutua added that the song was never submitted to the board for classification in the first place while urging artists and media houses to create and exhibit content that builds society.
Broadcasting, exhibition, distribution (including online) or possession of 'Takataka' is a criminal offence. This song should not be performed live or broadcast anywhere within the Republic of Kenya, said Mutua.
The song currently has 1
million views on Youtube .
YouTube is continuing take down drill music videos at the request of London police. The Metropolitan Police has continually argued that the underground rap genre is partly responsible, linked a spate of knife attacks to violent lyrics.
As of last
month, the police had requested the removal of 129 videos, of which the music sharing platform deleted 102. This purge has escalated since May last year at which point the Press Association reported that police had requested 50 to 60 videos be removed
over the course of two years and Youtube, in response, deleted 30. Some of the videos that were removed later resurfaced on Pornhub.
Mike West heads a London police unit that has compiled a database of around 1,900 drill videos that he told the
Press Association, generate purely a violent retaliatory response.
Last month police closed a landmark case against Skengdo and AM, two of the biggest names in the UK drill scene. The duo pled guilty to breaching a gang injunction by performing
their song Attempted 1.0 during a sold out concert at Koko, London. They received a suspended nine-month jail sentence, making it the first time in British history that an artist has been sentenced to prison for performing a song.
Indonesian entertainers have rallied against a draft law that seeks to ban blasphemous and pornographic music content, with critics saying it will be used to clamp down on an already very limited freedom of expression.
More than 100 protestors -
many carrying placards or playing guitars and drums - took to the streets of Bogor, near Jakarta, on Sunday to demonstrate against the proposed law.
Under the proposed law, musicians would be prevented from bringing negative influences from
foreign cultures and/or degrading human dignity into Indonesia. As well as cracking down on blasphemous and pornographic content, it imposes onerous new requirements on musicians, such as carrying out competency tests to gain certification.
As well as cracking down on blasphemous and pornographic content, it imposes onerous new requirements on musicians, such as carrying out competency tests to gain certification.
An online petition calling for the vaguely worded bill to be scrapped has been signed by more than 250,000 people.
Two men who breached an injunction banning them from making drill music have been given suspended jail sentences of nine months each.
The ruling comes as Scotland Yard continues its controversial crackdown on the rap genre, a strategy which has
attracted significant criticism from drill fans.
The Metropolitan Police have repeatedly blamed the music genre for rising knife crime in London and has launched a wide ranging crackdown on drill music videos. Detective Inspector Luke Williams of
Lambeth and Southwark Gangs Unit said:
I am pleased with the sentences passed in these cases which reflect that the police and courts are unwilling to accept behaviour leading to serious violence.
Uganda's government has been rattled by the popularity of pop star Bobi Wine who has become an opposition politician after amassing a large following amongst the country's disillusioned youths.
The government has now proposed a new censorship law
vetting new songs, film and stage show scripts. In addition artists will have to seek state permission to perform abroad.
Musicians and other artists will also have to register with the government and obtain a practicing license which can be
revoked for a range of violations.
Peace Mutuuzo, junior minister for gender, labor and social development, told Reuters in an interview the new regulations to govern the music and entertainment industry were already drafted and expected to be
passed by cabinet by March.