QQ wary of entertainment reopening - Says sector will be blamed for any spike in COVID rates
While the vast majority of the entertainment industry is overjoyed at the news that the sector will be allowed to reopen, at least one dancehall artiste is on the fence about the decision.
In this week's episode of STAR CHAT set to air on Saturday at noon on THE STAR's YouTube page, the 'Rum Ram King' QQ said he is wary of the decision as another spike in the COVID numbers is not impossible.
QQ said that although he welcomes the 'freedom', especially for a sector that has been reeling from significant financial losses, he knows that entertainment is a popular scapegoat.
"The reason I have mixed feelings is because when I look at the vaccination rates, it's not where we need it to be and any spike at all (in COVID numbers), we're gonna get blamed for it. If anything just goes wrong, the entertainment sector is going to be blamed for it," he said. "Most naturally, the entertainment sector has always been and will forever be the scapegoat for any government, simply because of how they view the sector. It's an informal sector and our society still is biased some way towards it."
He said that because it's an informal sector, the Government is not able to pull out revenue such as taxes from it.
"The only time the Government really gets money from the sector upfront is when you apply for permits and certain governmental licences," he continued. "When folks in the entertainment industry make money, it's mostly through self-employment, and then they have to in turn pay their taxes, and so all of these reasons are why the Government looks at the sector the way they do. And for that reason they don't appreciate it and have it as a scapegoat."
QQ added that the biggest spike he can recall Jamaica having in one place at any given time during the nearly two years of the pandemic is the Alorica call centre outbreak.
"When Alorica had their major situation, the Government found a way to work around it and let them continue even though, to date, our biggest spike was the Alorica case. But when it comes to the entertainment sector, we get blamed even when there is nothing to show that the entertainment sector has caused any major spike," he said. "I am grateful for any attempt fi mi make back money, but mi just feel like any thing go wrong, entertainment a go get the blame."