The award-winning film Black Swan featuring Natalie Portman fell foul of censors in Barbados earlier this year. Though a ban on the film which features a lesbian relationship was eventually lifted, the incident highlights the issue of social acceptability, reports Shako Gibson, a 25-year-old Barbadian.
A pop star, a gay lovers quarrel gone wrong, and award winning film BLACK SWAN all seem to have struck a chord with the censorship board of Barbados and some citizens who think these examples are just not socially acceptable. This brings me to ask the question, what is socially acceptable? And what is not?
I think the issue is so taboo because of the mentality of the people and the way our society is raised. We here in Barbados have a very laid-back, but conservative attitude towards everything. This extends to our business ethic, our entertainment business, and even our government and how certain laws and systems are put into place.
Tonnes of articles have been released following the NOTORIOUS Rihanna video for S&M and all of them basically say the same thing that I pointed out, which proves to me that we know what our problem is when it comes to moving forward, but we still have a stumbling block or hurdle to cross. And that bridge is looking kind of shaky to me.
I personally love the S&M video and haven’t watched the BLACK SWAN film as yet but have read so much press surrounding it. I am a huge fan of the entertainment business and the various ways media use scandal and risqué things to garner more attention and, ultimately, more sales.
The benefits to scandal in my opinion is that is gives whatever the scandal is about so much leverage whether positive or negative, but it is how we use it that makes all the difference. Many rap artists in the past have beefed up album sales by creating “fake” wars to get more publicity before the album is released.
I think we all need to calm down a bit and take the entertainment industry for what it is: entertainment. Yes, it is very influential and impressionable persons are influenced by it, but each person as an individual has to know what they want to achieve in life and how to steer their own path.
To lead or be led, that is the question.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. All articles are published in a spirit of improving dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
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