Culture Ministry denies censorship of the airing of calypso finals

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport is denying censorship of two songs which were not aired during the finals of the 2021 calypso competition. Two songs, “Black Lives Matter” performed by Sweet Kendingo and “He bruck up the country” performed by the Mighty Duke were not aired in the televised version of the competition even though the performances were recorded.

Coordinator of the competition Andrew Tyndall claims that the songs were not intentionally¬†left out of airing, “I was able to speak to the editors and so what happened we allotted a one hour to this (competition) and when they looked at the amount of footage that they had, they were just able to just show the top eight finalists,” Tyndall explained.

The competition was pre-recorded he said and the “editors had to make a decision in keeping with the time constraints, “the competition is judged and the persons who scored the highest is ranked and so the top eight persons are who they showed,” Tyndall explained as he said the show was pre-recorded, edited and then showed.

Several persons within the competition have rubbished this explanation as they said the competition is expected to be a fair one where the public gets a chance to see all of the ten finalists. They also questioned why the the Ministry did not informed some of the performers that their songs and performances were being edited out of the televised versions.

Asked about the allegation that the Ministry initially told a performer that his song could not be included in the competition, Tyndall said he would not comment on that issue.
Persons familiar with this issue told this publication that the song “He bruck up the country” which focused on the US elections did not please ministry officials. They said that the performer was told that the song could cause “bad relations” between Guyana and the US and also that the song did not meet broadcast guidelines issued by Guyana National Broadcasting Authority. The Authority has since said its Board has never discussed any issue related to the calypso competition.

Meanwhile, Tyndall said too, that judges were present at the competition. He said his comments are in light of comments made by songwriter and producer Bonny Alves on his social media. In his post, Alves spoke of several issues he described as breaches, among them, he said “judges not being present.”

Tyndall maintains that judges were present, “if you look at the competition you would have seen the judges, because of the way that the camera set up done, the camera set up was facing the stage at all times, focused on the performers and what they were doing, the judges were in the center auditorium and the judges were at a prominent spot where all the competitors, whichever competition they were in, they were able to see the judges.”