Growing controversy over Rihanna’s role as Barbados Culture & Youth Ambassador – Australian news media

“These days, her solo music releases and collaborations are instant hits, and her forward fashion has led to her being touted as a style icon of the new decade. (Although not everyone agrees. Despite her role as a youth and culture ambassador for Barbados, there’s a contingent back in her home country who feels her image is a disgrace to her heritage and are openly hostile on blogs and in the press.)”

… from the Australia Herald Sun article Rihanna’s a girl about town

Barbados Magistrate chides Rihanna – Calls for no public airplay of Rude Boy

Not a Rihanna fan... Barbados Magistrate Ian Weekes

By the time that Rihanna was appointed as Barbados Culture and Youth Ambassador, the fresh-faced home girl made good we originally cheered was already changing in a less than positive way. Many folks were uncomfortable with her appointment and even those who supported Prime Minister Thompson’s move were puzzled that he didn’t leave himself (and us) an out by announcing a term of a year or two.

Not a wise move on the part of David Thompson because here we are a few years later with our Culture & Youth Ambassador sporting gun tattoos, exposing her breasts, saying it is “quite normal” for Bajan women to walk around nude in front of strange men and singing she loves it “when you kiss it there”.

Heck, we haven’t mentioned the midget porn-star birthday party yet!

Okay, that’s American rap/pop/Hollywood sex culture or whatever you want to call it. Rihanna is good at it and she’s made millions for herself and others.

All I know is what she’s doing now isn’t Bajan culture and it sure isn’t the example we want for our youth from someone who officially represents Barbados as an ambassador.

Magistrate Ian Weekes agrees. He doesn’t think Rihanna’s current example is a good one for our youth and he said so in court and during a newspaper interview a few weeks ago. (Nation News Too Rude)

How will Prime Minister David Thompson deal with the Rihanna-as-Barbados-Ambassador controversy as it continues to grow and become news around the world?

My guess: Thompson will continue to make like an ostrich.

Further Reading

Rude Boy lyrics

Rihanna loved her birthday gift: midget porn star lapdance

Barbados Prime Minister reconsiders Rihanna as “Youth & Cultural Ambassador”


Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Culture & Race Issues, Music, Rihanna

31 responses to “Growing controversy over Rihanna’s role as Barbados Culture & Youth Ambassador – Australian news media

  1. ‘Rude Boy’ is one of the Flashing Cockatoo’s best songs in a while, I like the island beat and even the crazy video… The other stuff which BFP cites is what I object about Rihanna; as for the lyrics for the current song?

    SOS Band’s “Take Your Time (And Do It Right)” or Captain & Teneille’s “Do That to Me One More Time”; even Mtume’s “Juicy” (that one did nearly have a global ban for its lasciviousness, but it didn’t, point being) are a trio of a multiplicity of tunes which have “double entendres”….

    This is not even aiming at the Caribbean and looking at Sparrow’s ‘Congo Man’ or Foreuigner Frank’s ‘Lawn ‘Um Down’ among so many others here too! Besides, censorship is a matter which should be dear to BFP’s collective heart, n’est-ce pas?

  2. Rumboy.

    It’s time for her to change her management and get back to the beginning with catchy songs like ‘Umbrella ‘. Remember she is young and no doubt can be mislead.

  3. Stephen

    Despite the very few thinking otherwise, she’s still a great ambassador for Barbados. We love her. She is young; even The Beatles were seen as scruffy when they started and they were wearing suits and ties! Of course she’s going to continue to outrage some people in their nineties, but this is 2010, not 1910. How about a proper concert here in Barbados, for the people, Ms Fenty?

  4. Who is he?

    I agree wholeheartely with the notion that the Ambassadorial position bestowed on Rihanna (now, in hindsight) should not have been given; but…..who is “Ian Weekes?”

    Why should an article be based on “Ian Weekes'” personal opinion, or what he thinks?


  5. Could be worse...

    She could be outwardly singing gospel but misbehaving behind the scenes…

  6. Bajan Girl

    Rihanna was raised by the Guyanese side of her family. She told a reporter that most of her family is Guyanese. As far as I am concerned, it is their culture she is promoting. I am disgusted with Prime Minister Thompson for making her an ambassador for Bajan youth. Nothing about her is Bajan except she was born on Bajan soil.

    With the large number of foreigners moving into Barbados, I expect to see more of this type of thing. Foreigners will raise their Bajan born children to emulate their native cultures but send them out into the world labeled as Bajans to promote a culture that is foreign to most Bajans. Sigh

  7. not complicated

    The appointment of Rihanna as Barbados Culture and Youth Ambassador was simply a typical crude political move without understanding the ramifications or fallout.

    Rihanna doesn’t need the appointment and Thompson doesn’t need the headache or political heat.

    Rihanna should just send a letter to Thompson thanking him for the ambassadorship and advising her time does not allow for any involvement. She could then advise the PM she is available to help with special projects on a case by case basis.

    This simple announcement may not stop the gossip and scandal but it should remove Rihanna from the government which I am sure she wants nothing to do with anyway.

  8. not complicated


    not cricket and too personal about something we all know well.

    Are you a vegetarian?

  9. ru4real

    Rude Boy music and dancing could more properly be described as lewd and crude.

    Young women grinding their neither regions into some mans crotch does nothing for the Barbadian youth image too.

    Its disgusting no man would like to see his daughter behave in such a way.

  10. Referee

    Rihanna stays as my Ambassador as long as she wants to. We true Bajans love her. Who is Magistrate Weeks? He may be a judge but he cant direct me how to think. Prime Minister ignore these clowns please.

  11. Who is he?

    You didn’t publish this earlier, so I’m sending again.

    Yes, the appointment of Ri was probably bad, now we can see 20/20 in retrospect.

    However, who is Ian Weekes that this article should be based on his “personal opinion?”

  12. Hants

    de majorty uh wanna is a bunch a envious badminded hippacrits.
    doan touch rhi rhi. Lef she lone.


    You is a bajan? wanna did bitin since de 60s so wuh is good fuh de ganda is good fuh de goose.

    nuttin wrong with leaders that ambidextrous.

    Wuh is you problum? Yuh neva hear bout biting insects?

    Hope wanna enjoying de bank holiduh. I up hey in kanaduh wukking today.

  13. ac

    I guess the PM gonna ban she too.

  14. Proud Bajan??

    I agree 100%!! Rihanna should never have been made an ambassador for Barbados since her Guyanese “roots” are to blame. Look at Oba (who has the same roots – shameful!) They should make him take that end of Bronze medal back to Guyana – couldn’t even get gold! Stupse! Damn those foreigners who come only to steal our men and corrupt our youth. Her scantily clad body has made me forget about all the big shots who on the DL and frequenting the area down by the public library while their privileged children are doing “homework” online, with the radio and TV for support; the crooked politicians who stealing everything and the racism that still pervades Buhbados to this day! Couple that with the leud lyrics she is spewing…how could she possibly be held up for our young people to follow with songs like that? Why not a wonderful classic like “Let’s get it on” by Marvin Gaye?. Take off her music videos and show more Bold and Beautiful and Days… These are shows that have been on the air for years and truly set a great example for young and old alike! Plus young girls weren’t wearing “batty shorts” and “booby outs” clothes before she started the trend… Strip her of the title and she surely shall perish and likely go broke which is what I prefer. That way she can put on a few low-key shows like the other struggling acts around here and I can “feel fuh she” and go to help her out (when I feel like)! Plus there are too many talented Bajans who can sing wayyy better than she can and so deserve her success…they’ve paid their dues – she hasn’t! Further, as Barbadians we have more scruples than the rest of the world, so banish all other nationalities from these shores. They don’t deserve to live here… Rihanna is the problem, take the ambassadorship and all of our societal ills will be o’er!! So say I…de proud Bajan???

  15. BFP

    Not complicated:

    We agree, not cricket and we’ve removed Love’s comments. He has always had a problem that way. When it gets too much we ban him for a bit. Same with some of the racist comments from others. We can’t always pre-define where we’ll put our foot down but with the help of regulars like yourself we occasionally remind everyone to at least make a pretense of being civilized. 🙂

  16. BFP

    Who is Ian Weekes?

    The article clearly indicates what position of responsibility that Mr. Weekes holds and that many share his opinion.

  17. Johnny Postle

    This Johnny do not have a problem with Rihanna being culture ambassador for the youth. If the hypocrites, including Weekes, who are all jealous at the girl’s success can target her like this but leave out the other so called role models and ills in this society, than Rihanna you ain’t doing anything wrong.

    We have a female with a known alternative lifestyle who is alleged of beating up her partners, pursuing one of the highest offices in the land but Weekes dare not comment on that. We have a former minister, who became rich overnight and who is accused of having an alternative life style too, but Weekes or any of the other bias, hypocritical sycophants ain’t commenting about that. We have a former leader who got rid of one wife and took another who was pregnant for he, married on national TV, Weekes ain’t say nothing about that. We have a third or more of our population who engages in our wuk-up culture every year for crop over, gyrating in the most vulgar manner but yet Weekes ain’t comment about that. We have the law that convicts only poor people and leave the prominent people of this land to get way with all sorts of ‘murder’ but Weekes ain’t comment about that. We have lawyers swindling poor people out of their money and land, delaying the cause of justice knowingly and willingfully, whom the bar association never penalise and when they do, just a slap on the wrist penalty, yet Weekes ain’t comment about that. Weeks choose to attack a young successful superstar for her suggestive lyrics when all across this country, calypsos have been played with very suggestive lyrical content for years. But Weeks ain’t commenting about that.

    You bloggers who say that Rihanna do not deserve to be an ambassador should ask if certain people in this country deserve to be what they are. Also who are you to judge rather Rihanna is appropriate or not. Are you any better than Rihanna? You bunch of two face, double tongue serpents.

  18. BFP

    Amen to much of what you say, Johnny Postle.



  19. peltdownman

    When we see the disgusting antics on the road at Cropover and other such events, we are looking at Bajans, people, not Guyanese and foreigners! So give up on the hypocrisy. Whether you agree with her lifestyle and lyrics is irrelevant. Rihanna has put Barbados on the map in many parts of the world where it was previously unheard-of. When it becomes commercially sound to do so, she will change her looks and image to suit, because that is her job! She is nothing less than a phenomenon, and we should bask in her success.

  20. Stephen

    @proud bajan
    Those worrying racist and country phobic comments keep us back a century. The world is here, now; we should adapt. Rihanna continues to promote Barbados and that’s what her title is about. Like it or not, she represents the youth of today. Please remember, she’s ‘marketed’ to appear as she does. The girl we all know is still there.

  21. @ Johnny Postle (& Clive too for a certain degree);

    jdid has judged….

    so have I….

    When I was at CBC, it was considered my worst crime is to go shopping on the weekend in gym shorts and flip-flops and be seen in a night-club with a loop in my ear, they actually wanted to tell me how to dress – I asked if they are giving me an expensive dress allowance and what does the Union say? Matter dropped.

    My so-called transgressions are not immoral nor out of step with the 21st Century, but not everything is good this Millennium…

    Myself and jdid are not Politicians nor Role Models and therefore we can afford to speak our minds, who don’t like it? Tough! On the internet, opinions are like crutches or anuses – everybody’s got one, just that BFP, jdid and mine are louder, or you’d have your own blog too. Instead of dropping a comment from a sideline.

  22. Who is he?

    Even if Weekes were to comment on those things and more, I still say: “So what; who is he”.

    What journals has he contributed to? Is he a Research Fellow?

    He’s no sage or international counsellor; just an ordinary man who happens to be a magistrate!

  23. Johnny Postle

    @ Who is He

    In Barbados, profession is a pinnacle to which many believe give them rights and priviledges above what is average. Weekes believe that his position as a magistrate (one of those pinnacle professions) give him the right to speak out against social ills. After all a magistrate is an arbitrator of right and wrong. My problem with Weekes is that he has shown how hypocritical he is when disclosing his so called facts about Rihanna and her song. Why Rihanna and not Thompson and CLICO; why Rihanna and not Hardwood Housing; why Rihanna and not the GEMS project; why Rihanna and not an inquest into Arch Cot tragedy; why Rihanna and not Gline Clarke, Clyde Mascoll, David Estwick, Liz Thompson, Dave Marshall (for his stupid comments about the Tourist related murder and crappy sentencing) etc. All these other matters, alleges or facts, are also impacting society in a negative way and inducing in many across this island, a vexacious spirit. If you are going to speakout against one aspect of potential negative influence than you got to speakout against othe forms to bring balance to your bias discourse. Weekes is bias as well as many of the other jealous azz people who talk a bunch of shite about superstar Rihanna Fenty.

  24. Avatar Gurl

    @ ru4real

    April 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    But EVERY man would like to DO THAT TO HIS WIFE THOUGH!

    Look, don’t be a hypocrite!

  25. shani

    Really i dont think she should have been made ambassador to begin with while she did put barbados on the map i dont think it can be argued that she represents barbadian culture. as for the comments about where her parents are from that is nonsense but something that i would expect from bajans who think they are holier and some how more important than any other nationality.
    And as far as how she dresses and acts what do u exect she is a pop singer she is suppose to be a sex icon if not she would sell my records she she loose he popularity to please barbados i think not. let the girl be i listen to her music it is catchy true it doesnt have any substance but music these days doesnt (at least music which sells).
    Every artist has their time and this is hers when the RIRI fad is over i really hope that she has supporters at home to let her know that she still matters to them

  26. Devil's Advocate

    Mention Barbados……some people ask what part of jamaica that is.
    Tell them ..the country where rihanna is from and what do they say?
    Rihanna’s ‘sins’ ? To be female and not conform to the image of ‘the lady’.
    Some of you should just join the Taliban

  27. Devil's Advocate

    Women were wearing short shorts and skirts since the 60’s when free love and free drugs was the norm but yet rihanna is to blame for how young women dress?

  28. Devil's Advocate

    @ Proud bajan?????
    “That way she can put on a few low-key shows like the other struggling acts around here and I can “feel fuh she” and go to help her out (when I feel like)!”

    That will show her (it’s interesting how you feel about the local artists)

  29. R_these_bajans_for_real

    Every damn body trying to gain fame and recognition on Rihanna.

    Allu is a wast of time!

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