Backlash after Entertainment Ministry gives artiste US$5000

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etana-photo-3.jpgNo sooner had Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange announced recording artiste Etana as the first female recipient of financial support through the ministry's Artiste Ambassador and Tour Support Programme, the backlash started.

The ministry gave Etana a grant of US$5,000 to support her 32-city tour of the United States and people made it clear that they were NOT happy. Grange's social media page was flooded with criticisms, so too were blogs and websites which carried the release and picture provided from the ministry.

People didn't care two hoots that Minister Grange said in the release that the aim of the Artiste Ambassador and Tour Support programme is to strengthen Brand Jamaica through media, marketing and partnership.

People didn't care that the ministry said that they believe that the Artiste Ambassador and Tour Support Programme is important to provide support to those artistes who are good ambassadors, who represent Jamaica well and whose music reflects the message of Reggae and that of Jamaica.

Social media dragged Etana, encouraging her to give back the money, which they feel was ill deserved.

One person quizzed: "I don't get this! What the purpose of this gift? An established artiste going and a 32 city tour and getting lunch money from the government? US$5,000 for what? "

"Police are being insulted with a JAM$1,000 increase offer, and several injured in the line of duty are suffering from abandonment and neglect, including Lorenzo McLeggon, suffering for 42 years on crumbs, and government have money to give to a touring artiste! Unbelievable!"

"As a liberal you don't get how government could be reaching more and more into areas it shouldn't be? Jamaica is a case study in the folly of statism."

"Etana voted for Trump, so that made her worthy for free money?"

"Can she still vote in Jamaica? This does make sense at all."

"What kind of Trump supporting, racist apologist, fiscal conservative you be? Conservative start support handouts now? All along I thought that was liberal business."

"So many people and institutions need aid and they are giving aid to the people who are already earning good money."

"This is a new low, even for politicians. Also, why would Etana even think it's a good idea to accept this money?"

"These are all business people going abroad to ply their trade. Same the last time i see this minister give Freddie money fi gu a some award in Colombia."

"Why are they giving this woman taxpayer's money ? They should tell her to go and ask Trump for money."

"Less she forget that as a Trumpist she should not take money from a s**thole country to benefit the land of honey. And isn't a tour supposed to be making money? This is a travesty!"

They also had levelled criticism at the minister herself, noting that "politicians are by nature wasters, mismanagers and corrupters. They suffer no consequences for the misuse of taxpayers funds."

"This reverse donation doesn't make any sense at all....while other establish artists are giving back to Jamaica this ministry is reversing the role,,,,,,its dumb and sets a bad precedent."

"This Babsy Grange must go. Everything she does lack any real thought or make any sense, eg...building all kind of statues, ice hockey arena rinks in hot Kingston, predicting gold medals for bobsled team, promoting golf to people who cant even afford a golf ball, allowing airport road as entertainment zone, etc. And now this! Is she for real or just a grandstanding picture poser? What a waste of a ministry whose only purpose is to send condolences and congratulation!"

"Babsy is one of those clueless politicians holding back Jamaica"

"Is this really necessary? Why should my money be used to "promote" a recording artiste" who is making tons of money while there're people who need "genuine" help . Is it that this government don't really knows it's priority. . This is the same minister (ministry) that gave out generous contract worth millions to a friend." .

"Is Grange again openly wasting taxpayer's hard earned money? Why didn't she solicit the public's approval before making this gift? If she wanted to be generous, why didn't she give her own money? I trust the Jamaican taxpayers are looking into this outright waste of their resources, and make sure that this woman does not represent them in the next election. She has lost that privilege."

"Does any Government minister in Jamaica have any common sense. The Nation's limited funds are being mismanaged by the people who the citizens have put in place to manage the country's business.

"Babsy you getting too comfortable Lisa, over to you."

Why??? Dear Lord, why??? So many government departments can't buy paper and ink. Why?

"Baby using govt money to support private artistes is just wrong on all levels. An artiste who is not making enough money to support his/herself should be encouraged to find a new career."

"Hahaha this is dumbest thing ever!! no now the Gov gives artist TOUR SUPPORT...hahahahahahahahah...i am moving to JA."

Among the few voices of support was on person who argued that this is a good look, considering the importance of the creative industries. "Lets be clear, the creative industries alone could get Jamaica out of debt, so any support for it and any of it's practitioners is needed and should not be discouraged as this does not stop other areas from getting the aid they deserve... get real."

Another added: "Good job Minister. what took the government so long to offer this sort of support? the exposure that is given of this country by these artists at their financial expense is immeasurable."

"Not enough money for you to move. $5000 won't even cover hotel accommodations for a good month.

Yet another asked: "Waste?! do you even understand How much revenue the creative industry brings to Jamaica?!! get real."