I am always singing the praise of technology and the internet, and carrying on about how an artist should make the best of the tools at his/her disposal. But, is there a case where the internet or the mobile phone might not be such good friends? If you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of a sex tape scandal you might be tempted to say yes, and if you did, I’d say you’re being too hasty.
A leaked sex tape is usually an embarrassing thing, and in the immediate backlash a costly thing, as in the case of former CVM Host Amelia “Milk” Sewell who lost her job, Lisa Hype who saw a parting of ways with the Gaza Alliance (and according to her subsequent song a loss of a rosy view of love), and in the case of Christopher “Johnny” Daley, the loss of his locks. Now there is no confirmation that Johnny cut his hair in response to or out of shame over the sex tape – what did he think we wouldn’t recognize him? – but it is a fact that he had locks for years, and then sex tape and braps locks cut off.
So a leaked sex tape is an embarrassing thing – if you didn’t plan it. But what’s the big damn deal? We’re all having sex, Jamaica is an oversexed culture, with dances only a few pieces of clothing away from intercourse – and that’s depending on which video you catch on YouTube because people actually are having sex now on the dance floor. We hear constant warnings that we should be careful what we put on the internet because the internet has a memory that is longer than an elephants, and once it gets a hold of your bits of data there’s no getting it back. But in the meantime you’re busy feeling embarrassed about being caught in some bedroom act, the smart thing to do would be to screw your business head on realise that what’s done is done, and take advantage of the fact that all eyes are on you. Do you want them to see cringing in embarrassment over something that is very private yes, but certainly nothing to be ashamed of if it’s a legal and consenting act? Or do you want to redirect the attention to the real reason you’re in the public eye?
Maybe it’s because I don’t have a sex tape floating around in cyber space or from cell phone to cellphone, but I tend to take the relaxed view that there is so much other stuff going on online that pretty swiftly someone else’s sex tape will supersede yours, and if that doesn’t happen fast enough you can take advantage of the immediacy of the internet to flood your email mailing list, your website, Twitter, Facebook, and various online profiles and accounts that are a direct link to fans, and send out a million press releases to implement damage control. Usually something along the lines of this is a gross violation of your trust and privacy; you’re hugely embarrassed and apologize for the inappropriate representation of self in the public domain etc.
If you look at the outcome of sex tapes that have leaked you’ll see that no one is really worse for it. Milk lost her job, suffered a few bad puns, but she seems to have landed very nicely on a new career as a singer, Lisa Hype didn’t seem to worse off for it after her sex tape – case in point, I didn’t even know who she was until after her scandal broke and she went on to sing that response song that I’m sure got a lot of attention because of its connection to the sex tape. As for Johnnie last I heard he hadn’t been in any way blacklisted as a result of his sex tape, as a matter of fact he’s doing reasonably well with a radio program and film projects underway.
The American Queens of Sex Tapes
Another level of example are American sex tape queens Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, not only are neither of them worse for the wear because of their sex tapes, both are actually a little bit richer as a result. Now I know we’re not internet business friendly yet in Jamaica, but when I was doing my research about these sex tapes I actually saw an ad inviting me to purchase Lisa Hype’s sex tape. So maybe there is a chance for our caught in the act artists to not only receive a boost in visibility from their sex tapes, but actually receive direct financial benefit as well. I’m not suggesting that Lisa Hype, or Milk or Johnny consider themselves porn stars, but this is their embarrassment and if people get to watch, they at least also have the option to get paid for it.
At the end of the day, the internet is busy; our memory in Jamaica is very short; and even then only the more prudish among us are judging. And if you’re risqué enough to record yourself carrying out sexual acts, the judg-y ones are probably not the ones you’re trying to get to buy what you’re selling anyway. So go forth and sex tape, and if it leaks, know you have a hell of a boost coming, so make sure to take the best advantage of it.