Jamaican cable companies routinely carry U.S. programming. Currently that programming includes the docudrama series “When We Rise,” airing on the ABC television network.
The series “chronicles the personal and political struggles, setbacks, and triumphs of a diverse group of LGBT individuals who helped pioneer an offshoot of the Civil Rights Movement from its infancy in the 20th century to the successes of today. The period piece tells the history of the modern gay rights movement, starting with the Stonewall riots in 1969.”
However, although Jamaican cable companies run U.S. programming, they have censored LGBT content. For example, they eventually censored “Queer as Folk” (2000-2005) and they edited out Sam Smith’s reference to his male partner during his Grammy acceptance speech in 2015.
Now, they have censored “When We Rise.” See the screenshot above from Flow, one of the largest cable operators in the region, which is owned by Cable & Wireless out of the United Kingdom.
A comment from a Facebook friend says it all:
“We were just watching the first hour of WHEN WE RISE on ABC! ALL OF A SUDDEN APPARENTLY FLOW ENFORCED SOME CENSORSHIP SINCE THE PROGRAMME CLEARLY SHOWED THE STRUGGLE OF THE GAY COMMUNITY IN THE USA AGAINST THE HOMOPHOBIC POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT DURING THE MID 1970ES! Whaa a gwaan in Jamaica [What is happening in Jamaica]?! SHAME ON FLOW! Time for us to RISE UP!”
As a side note, the Jamaican Court of Appeal has yet to rule on my challenge to two TV stations that refused to air a tolerance ad in which I appear that calls for respect for the rights of homosexuals. The matter was heard in February 2016 and the decision is still pending. I hope that the court doesn’t take as long as it did for Caleb Orozco when the Chief Justice of Belize took three years to deliver his ruling in the anti-sodomy law challenge.
- Jamaican Gay Activist Challenges TV Stations In Court (February 2016, AIDSlaw.ca)
- OK to block TV tolerance ad? Jamaican court will decide (February 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Jamaican ruling: No penalty for pushing tolerance ad (March 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Jamaican TV: Why we reject LGBT tolerance ad (May 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Jamaican lawsuit seeks OK for gay respect TV ad (May 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Jamaican TV stations due in court for nixing LGBT ad (May 2013, 76crimes.com)