Public affairs officer at the United States Embassy in Kingston, Joshua Polacheck, is suggesting that some Jamaican entertainers who say they are being kept out of the United States because of homophobic lyrics are not telling the truth.

Polacheck said yesterday that Jamaican entertainers have “never” been denied visas or had them taken away over matters such as as anti-gay lyrics.

“No artiste has ever been refused a visa for artistic reasons, and that includes promoting views that are either loving or repelling. The market may not choose to employ them,” Polacheck said.

“Sometimes no one wants to hire them and they are using that as an excuse,” he added.

Several Jamaican entertainers have claimed that their visas were revoked by the United States in recent years but Polacheck said if that were so, it had nothing to do with their music.

He said that for a person to get a performer’s visa, a US promoter must petition for the artiste to enter that country for a show or to do a tour. He surmised that Jamaican artistes may be peddling lies about being denied US visas because of homophobic lyrics when in reality it does not make economic sense for promoters to seek to bring them to the US to perform.

“If they believe, for their own market reasons, or their own reputation as a promoter, that the lyrics or your ideology would be damaging in the market place, they are not going to invite you,” Polacheck said.

been disqualified

The US spokesman said that it is important to determine whether artistes who do not have performer visa have visitors visa. According to Polacheck, the entertainers may well have been disqualified from getting US visas because of their involvement or association with criminality.

“We do not look at the content of an artiste’s work unless they are a member of the Nazi Party … . Whatever ideology, whether hateful of loving, that they chose to promote doesn’t matter in the visa adjudication process,” Polacheck said.

In a bid to support his argument that the US has not been hostile to entertainers who say unfavourable things about public officials or espouse a particular ideology, Polacheck pointed to reggae artiste Chronixx who continues to enjoy a US visa despite insulting US President Barack Obama.

At the time of Obama’s historic visit to Jamaica, Chronixx referred to him as a “waste man” but recanted after public backlash.

committed crimes

“He has said things that are a direct insult to the President of the United States. … If Chronixx had insulted the president of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) he would never be allowed in China again,” Polacheck said.

He said that persons like artiste Jah Cure, who served time in prison on a rape conviction, will never be granted a US visa.

“There are persons like Jah Cure, who committed crimes of moral turpitude who will never get visas because they have committed crimes of moral turpitude or connections to narcotics trafficking. Many artistes, I am sorry to say, who are connected to Vybz Kartel … . Many of the people that he worked with were not only musicians but were involved in the narcotics business,” Polacheck said.

The US embassy official suggested that many entertainers may have an elevated sense of importance by believing that counsel officers have time to be combing through the lyrics of their songs to determine whether they are offensive.

“There are counsel officers who don’t even know who these people are who are coming in front of the window and having a O1 petition (performer visa application) much less saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I better Google to see if they have pro or anti-gay lyrics,” Polacheck said.


  1. Mi like dah likkle red hair man ya innuh…

    Di man a talk truth…reggae and dancehall festival a keep a America, Europe and Africa an di younger artists dem nah get book because dem feel dem is royalty…some man weh put on a festival inna Europe did deh pon ER couple months back and di man talk and say they rather employ the older artists because it’s nothing for dem to get a couple rooms and dem come perform and do dem ting, di man dem say wen u fi get the younger ones dem want private plane or first class, one bag a big name vehicle fi drive round inna and u fi lock down one whole floor fi dem and di 20 dozen ppl dem a travel wid, so dem just don’t bother book them.

    When u look dancehall/reggae festival or party a keep and not 1 Jamaican because of them attitude.

    Don’t blame embassy, blame unnuh self!

  2. too bloo..claatt greedy and frighten weh dem hear bout and that handcart face looking mavado a taunt dem cause him married aan him face cant change. it also is a fact some don’t want no one else to come up vado tried to block bop can u imagine anted to be the ONLY gully artist

  3. this man mix up everybody dwll, lock dung whole floor? a loieeee, OMG, when promoter do all a that how dem get pay. so… a wa beenie do, the nerve a mention drugs weed should be exempt, see snoop a release weed line a canada

  4. Lies.Quite a lot of artiste are in in high demand in the usa and cannot get visas and of course artiste have been denied because of anti gay lyrics. Shows have been cancelled,people detained but as usual the anti Jamaica crowd on met site is out in force.

  5. Mr. Polacheck try again…u tink wi figet bout Beenie big apology video after him visa get denied. When is Beenie never in demand? Tell mi nuh.

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