Errol Fabien claims political censorship
ANOTHER creative is claiming political censorship this Carnival, but National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Winston "Gypsy" Peters was quick to say, "Leave me out of that."
Politician, comedian and well-known MC Errol Fabien claims a show promoter told him not to tell any “anti-PNM” jokes at a gig for which he was hired over the weekend.
Saying he values his manhood more than the work, Fabien said he declined to do the show after getting the promoter's directive. He did not name the promoter, whom he described as a good friend.
However, Fabien said there are many creative people out there who need the money and may have to compromise their integrity.
“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 said.
He took to Facebook to express his disgust.
He wrote, “Well as I live and breathe. 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 continued, “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.”
In an interview with the Newsday on Monday, Fabien said he was not expecting the kind of traction his post got.
“I felt I needed to say something. Normally I will tell them how I feel and move on. I did not realise 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 take a position because of the politics and it could either minimise us or compromise us.”
Fabien said he understood the right of his employer, who was spending his money, to say what he or she was buying.
Referring to this particular employer, he said, “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?”
Only last week, calypsonian Lady Gypsy, the mother of Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez and sister of NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters, claimed she was prevented from singing her hit song Political Cemetery in the tents because it is believed to be an attack on the ruling PNM.
Asked about claims of censorship by certain performers, NCC boss Peters told Newsday he was not going down that road.
“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 his sister, who pounded him in her song, is free to speak out about her issues.
“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.”
On the other hand, 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."
"Errol Fabien claims political censorship"