GNWT forces rapper Godson to remove video from internet
Department of Justice says music video improperly depicts corrections officer
A Yellowknife rapper says he feels betrayed by the territorial government after it forced him to remove a music video from the internet because it says the video improperly depicts a government corrections officer.
The song "Friday Night," by Godson is the hit single from his new album Aliens, released three weeks ago.
Last week, he was working with local teens as part of a territorial government anti-drug campaign when he got a call from one of the government's lawyers telling him he had to delete the video from the web.
"I thought originally because, you know, I'd done so much positive work with the youth for the government and getting messages out there … that they were wanting to promote this video for me," said Aaron 'Godson' Hernandez.
Hernandez took the video off his website, but says the government lawyer told him that wasn't enough and that he'd have to take the video off the internet altogether.
In the video, there's a brief scene where Hernandez is taken down and arrested by a man in the uniform of a corrections officer, an employee of the territorial government.
Hernandez says the scene was meant to be funny.
"I mean, I played the role of the criminal in that … and it's funny that that's how I'm being viewed."
Not an easy fix after all
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, the issue isn't over the uniform, but the way the officer is depicted in the video; a government corrections officer isn't mandated to arrest and take someone down in the street like the one does in Hernandez's video.
Hernandez says the video's scene is easily fixable, by blurring out the officer's badge, but the government's lawyer said that isn't an option. He'd have to remove the scene altogether before re-posting it the web.
Hernandez says he doesn't have the money, time or resources to re-shoot that scene.
"I'm a rapper in the N.W.T., it's not like I'm rich."
Hernandez took to Facebook to express his frustration. By the next morning, his post had 333 likes and 50 comments of support. Now, there are more than 400 likes and 60 shares.
"You know, this is coming from my own province, my own home town … the people that I would be supporting me.
"And it just kind of seemed like I was hurt, and you know, I just could have talked to the person who questioned the video."