STAR of the Month: Everything is not the Gov't’s problem - Etana says artistes should take blame for losing visas

May 04, 2018

Outspoken artiste Etana appear unconvinced that the Government should play a role in seeking to get the visas of some entertainers reinstated.

'The Strong One', who has dual nationality, said individual artistes must take responsibility for any actions that may have led to their visa revocation.

"Everything is not the Government's problem," Etana said.

Stating that a lot of people are offended whenever she speaks her mind on issues, Etana said that a lot of people do not like to hear the truth.

"Even though there is supposed to be freedom of speech, freedom is not free. Certain things you cannot say, certain things you cannot do. You can't walk with drugs and think it is cool. You can't be associated with certain types of friends, who you know are doing illegal things, and think you can't get caught in it, because you will have to prove yourself not guilty. And you can't say certain tings outta yuh mouth that makes anyone feel uncomfortable," Etana said.

Several Jamaican entertainers are without visas. The United States Embassy in Kingston has not said why these artistes have not been allowed in the country. In 2016, Joshua Polacheck, then public affairs officer at the US Embassy, said Jamaican entertainers have "never" been denied visas or had them taken away over matters such as anti-gay lyrics.

Etana, during the interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, did not implicate any artiste in wrongdoing. She, however, appears convinced that people have found themselves in visa problems because of homophobic lyrics and possible criminal association.

"At the end of the day, isn't it the choice of the person to be who he wants to be? How does it bother you, really? Why do you have to talk about it, and talk about the way you do, too?" Etana asked.

"Why don't you sing your song and try to uplift and educate and strengthen people, or wine if a wine you want dem wine? Why don't you do that? And try to live your life as legal as possible. How about that? What about living within your means so you don't have to do anything illegal?" she questioned.

In concluding, Etana said: "If you want to be an artiste and be able to fly and do all of these things, you need to follow the guidelines to do that. And what does the Government need to do about that? You made the choices!"

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