Did the Marley Family Sell Out Jamaica with ‘One Love: Bob Marley’?

With Jamaicans (people), you’re “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”. Consider these facts before cussing the Marleys about how dem never use a Jamaican to portray Bob, and how Ziggy Marley and the family ‘sell out’!

1. Jamaica offers no meaningful incentives to produce films here, in fact it is more expensive to do so. Trinidad, on the other hand, offers incentives that would be attractive to any producer – 35% cashback on qualifying expenses for budgets US$15,000 – US$8,000,000, plus 20% for hiring local labour. It would have been more beneficial for them to shoot the movie in Trinidad but the Marley family CHOSE to do it in Jamaica.

2. It takes a lot to carry a film of this magnitude. Many Jamaican actors have neither the experience nor PROFESSIONALISM to stand in this role. Many parrot rather than embody a character. Who me fi a sey so? London trained actor, voice director, performance coach, voice over artist, accent coach, creator and writer of Cabbie Chronicles the (award winning) Caribbean’s first animated series, and writer of countless scripts for radio, tv and presentations. In my experience on so-called ‘likkle’ tv commercials, actors came unprepared not knowing their lines, had an attitude because ‘everybody a star’, came late and yes mi can call names … but I won’t. So if you can behave that way on a local production then what? You think people don’t talk? Think again!

3. The movie business is a business. Because you see it as (your) entertainment, you think is “patty shop business”. This is not content creation for social media that has cheapened the ART of performance to make it seem like anybody can do it. Ben-Adir as Marley is an accomplished actor who also has the amazing power of transformation to the point of being unrecognizable. Did you know he was in the Barbie movie? Look feeeem. Him in dey! Right side a Ryan Gosling. Paramount is not going to invest millions of US dollars in a no name actor for a project of this importance that began development in 2018 and Ziggy dem did look harrrrd fi a Jamaican. His accent might not be 100% but, for an international audience unfortunately, di people dem need fi can understand what is being said. Lashana Lynch was outstanding in The Woman King and in her other roles so, of course, was a great choice to play Rita Marley.

4. So y’all saying The Marley family sold out? Over 70% of the cast were Jamaican … in roles wey dem coulda manage. Did you know that the producers paid the vendors at Bob Marley Beach enough to demolish their shacks and rebuild them AFTER production wrapped. They had people painting the shops (free paint job) and tidying up the surroundings ready for shooting scenes. Local filmmakers get a likkle work, drivers, hotels, guest houses, craft service (di food people dem), etc … is nuff money spen’ in Jamaica.

5. When Marley was up and coming, Jamaican people never pay him no mind. The man had to go farin (abroad) to gain recognition before we claimed him fully. Sound familiar? I’m sure you could name some people who buss big a farin before we started to give them any credit locally!

6. Jamaican people don’t like to hear “no” because if you do, you a fight ‘gainst. We build but we don’t maintain or preserve. Most things are politicised. When the people of Trench Town wanted to build a museum to Bob there and Rita told them no, has anyone stopped to think WHY she tell dem no? Bob Marley is bigger than any one person. His international image and legacy needs to be upheld with love and grace. His family are the best people to protect his legacy. Look at Ward Theatre! Have I made my point?

7. So they have sold out? Cedella Marley put her money behind the Reggae Girls and gave them and the country hope. Of course “that” institution (mi nah even a call dem name di way how dem a craases) messed up the relationship and the lady sey, “Yuh know what? Deuces”.

8. When Rita Marley moved to Ghana, set up her charity and got enstooled as Queen there, Jamaicans were upset. Why she never do something in Jamaica? Why this? Why that? Read point 7 again. As a smaddy who knows people who have tried to do charitable things in Jamaica, with the red tape, the bureaucracy, the corruption they have encountered, many just cyaa bodda. We make charity difficult! The appreciation that other countries show from charity received from Jamaican donors is leagues ahead! So whyyyyy would anyone want to put them self through that trouble? My own brother operates free clinics in Kenya, Uganda and the DRC with other Jamaicans because yah so??? Problem!

Did the Marley Family Really Sell Out Jamaica with One Love - Bob Marley

9. If ANY of the Marley clan could act well enough to play their grandfather/father, don’t you think they would have chosen them first? Then we would say, “Dem couldn give somebody else di work?”
We need to stop this nonsense. We are our own worst enemy. You hear about the enemy within? A we dat! We expect people to give and give and give while we just take and take and take and complain and berate. If for Jamaicans alone and following public opinion, the Marley legacy would not be where it is. It would have been destroyed and then we would say, “Look how ‘dem’ mek Bob legacy guh dung di drain”.

I would say, mind the business that minds you, pay your light bill and go watch di movie.
Here endeth today’s sermon.

About The Author:
Alison Latchman

Alison Latchman is the award winning writer and co-creator of Jamaica’s and the Caribbean’s first animated series Cabbie Chronicles. www.cabbiechronicles.com.  She is also the writer of the children’s book series Magnus the Mongoose, a tale of Caribbean adventure full of culture, discovery and real pickney fun! Available on www.amazon.com and select bookstores across the Caribbean.

The post Did the Marley Family Sell Out Jamaica with ‘One Love: Bob Marley’? appeared first on Jamaicans.com.