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News article misleading and untrue – management company

News article misleading and untrue – management company

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When Gamal ‘Skinny Fabulous’ Doyle read a newspaper headline stating, ‘Skinny prefers Barbados show’, he became distraught, as criticisms would normally come from persons on social media and maybe tabloids, but not from a source considered to be a credible news outlet.

“When I saw the paper it made me very sad and it’s not often that things that people say get to me,” said the six-time Soca Monarch.

“The difference between this year and many other years is that [when] the accusations and the negative talk … is headline news, it is a different thing,” Doyle told the SEARCHLIGHT on Saturday morning, via a WhatsApp call.{{more}}

On Friday, June 24, The News newspaper’s front page article stated that Doyle would not take part in the Soca Monarch and Ragga Soca Monarch competitions this year. The article stated that Doyle, the reigning Ragga Soca Monarch and Soca Monarch, would not defend his crowns, and that not only had he refused a request by the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) to appear as a guest artiste on the show, he had instead chosen to perform at a show in neighbouring Barbados, a statement that according to the entertainer is completely false.

Doyle said that he had to pay attention to the article because persons would assume that it was factual because of where it was published.

“…the population will assume is factual because they depend on formal print media to get their information and their news, so when I realized that this headline will now be in the houses of thousands of Vincentians, I was concerned,” stressed Doyle.

He said after the publication of the article, he was contacted by CEO of the CDC Ashford Wood, who was quoted in the article.

According to Doyle, Wood told him that he did not put out the information the way it was published.

“…even Mr Ashford Wood called me and indicated that he had no intention of putting out the information in that particular way and he apologized to me personally…,” explained Doyle.

The soca monarch explained that he had announced since last year that he would not take part in competition this year and that the CDC tried unsuccessfully to book him “last minute”.

“…the idea to even book me was not even a consideration until last minute. It was not even a case where they had intentions to book and they just check me late. It was a case where the intention to book me came to them as an idea late and what came even later was their enquiry or their request (two weeks ago) to have me make a guest appearance on the show.

“And so before he (Ashford Wood) even approached me, his disclaimer was ‘we know it’s late, but we are hoping that you will still be available even we know its last minute’.”

Doyle said after Wood contacted him, even though he was legally bound by another contract, he tried to get out of it.

He said that he was unable to get out of the legally binding contract to perform in Trinidad and Tobago, because the promoter had already promoted the show with Doyle being one of the headline acts.

The Green Hill resident said this was explained to the CDC, who understood and settled instead on him doing two other shows, Junior Pan on Sunday, June 26 and Steel and Glitter on Thursday, June 30.

“…so there was not even any bad vibe with CDC and [me] over what had transpired. Everything else that CDC checked me for I agreed to,” stressed Doyle, who added that he is managed by a Barbadian company and this is probably why Barbados, and not Trinidad was mentioned in what he describes as a “misleading article”.

He said the only time the word Barbados came into his discussions with the CDC was when he explained that his management company in Barbados had accepted a prior booking.

“…My schedule from since early up in the year was already signed and confirmed up until November. It is a schedule that I also published on Facebook. I was booked up until November a long time ago. I actually wanted to be a part, a guest performer in the competition and I tried to work out with Ashford and management how to escape, but unfortunately it couldn’t work out,” stressed Doyle.

He is of the opinion that when he makes strides that put St Vincent and the Grenadines on the map, they were not reported as vigorously as this.

“When we get sign to ESPN and we making moves and when we song get play on ABC prime time network, those things don’t make headline news, but derogatory things that may mislead the public and try to rise them up against me that is what makes headlines these days, just for sensationalism.

“We have an upcoming deal with FOX News Network for an even bigger music deal where internationally we would be on a global sport network all over the world for an even longer and bigger contract…these are not the things that would make headlines.”

The ‘we’ in Doyle’s comment refers to him and Trinidadian superstar Machel Montano.

He stressed that Vincy Mas itself is 10 days of activities “and so much more,” so the idea that on one night when he is not taking part in a Vincy Mas activity and not booked to perform, that he should just turn down a booking somewhere else is “crazy”, as he is an entertainer by profession and makes his living through his performances.

Pyramid Entertainment Management Inc (PEM), the organization charged with managing Doyle, in a release, expressed disbelief at the publication in The News, stating that: “….the article is both misleading and untrue. Skinny Fabulous is one of the most heavily requested artistes on our roster. His decision not to compete, automatically resulted in the last weekend of the carnival season becoming available for bookings.”

Manager Ruel Ward confirmed that since early March, the company negotiated a contract for a booking for the artiste in Trinidad, not Barbados, for an event titled ‘Together as One’.

Ward stated: “CDC was late in requesting the date and therefore to convey the impression that there is some preference by the artiste to perform in another territory during Vincy carnival is journalistic sensationalism at its best.

“As to whether legal action against the newspaper is imminent, Skinny’s management has indicated that it will leave all options open to the artiste.

“Surely, editors have a responsibility to verify the accuracy of so called ‘reports’ before proceeding to recklessly publish statements which may impute improper motives or cast aspersions on the reputation of an entertainer. It is an unfortunate publication and one which we hope will be followed by the appropriate apology to the artiste,” said Ward.

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