Hah-R-Mony Entertainment threatens court action

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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GOOD HOPE, Trelawny — Hah-R-Mony Entertainment Limited is threatening to take legal action against individuals on social and mainstream media who accuse them of robbing Jamaicans of jobs by bringing dancers from other Caribbean islands to perform on the local hotel circuit.

“These allegations are false, they are malicious, and they are also libellous. We know who these people are and there will be consequences. We cannot just get up and distort the facts and say whatever it is that comes to our minds. We have people's livelihood at stake here,”stated Ho Chi-Min Castillo Rolffot, chief executive officer of Hah-R-Mony, the Caribbean's biggest entertainment company.

In a recent release, the Entertainers of Jamaica Association (EJA) raised concerns that “foreign-based company, Hah-R-Mony Entertainment is able to register in Jamaica, calling itself a Jamaican company, with approximately 60 per cent of its employees (entertainers) from Dominican Republic and Cuba”.

“They are in control of the jobs Jamaicans used to own on the north coast hotels. We are concerned as they are not beneficiaries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) free movement agreement, as they are not Caricom states,” the release read.

But, according to Dominican native Ho Chi-Min Castillo Rolffort, who has lived in Jamaica for nearly two decades, no one from his homeland is among his company's 120 dancers, of which Jamaicans account for more than 50 per cent.

He was also quick to point out that Hah-R-Mony Entertainment Limited, which was established in 2009, is a Jamaican company with Jamaican owners.

“Yes, we have dancers from Cuba, but is that illegal? The same way we welcome Cuban doctors, Cuban nurses and Cuban teachers... I mean Jamaica and Cuba have had an excellent relationship for decades,” Castillo Rolffot noted during a press conference in Trelawny on Saturday.

“We are more than an entertainment company in the traditional sense. We are an employer of people. We create jobs and we make a valuable contribution to the tourism product,” he said.

In fact, the Hah-R-Mony Entertainment Limited CEO cited that “we have a total of 650 artistes islandwide”.

“We pride ourselves as a family of professional, courteous and dedicated employees. Our staff includes professionals in every phase of the performing arts business — all of whom are highly experienced and knowledgeable,” Castillo Rolffot said.

In the meantime, a portion of the EJA release, written over the signature of President Kaestner Smith, called on the minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sports to probe the use of copyright as it relates to Jamaican-created dance moves.

“We are calling on the minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sports, who is also a publisher and member of JACAP (Jamaica Association of Composers Authors and Publishers), to investigate the use of our copyright, as they have copied the Jamaican-made dances and movements for which compensation is required,” the release alleged.

But Castillo Rolffot scoffed at the allegations, arguing that since its inception, Hah-R-Mony Entertainment Limited has spent some $20 million to the Government in work permits.

According to the EJA release, the organisation is steadily registering the entertainers and as their representative, it is serious about representing the Jamaican entertainers “and reclaiming ownership of our culture”.

“EJA has recognised that there was a void in union representation as the JFM (Jamaica Federation of Musicians) was dormant for more than 15 years,” it said.

— Horace Hines

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