Days after Ishawna used a cutout of Bounty Killer to gyrate and whine on his face in her Reggae Sumfest performance. The festival organizers issued an apology to the iconic dancehall figure.
On Monday (July 25), Reggae Sumfest’s principal Josef Bogdanovich apologized to dancehall Bounty Killer for the act deemed disrespectful and which Bounty himself has protested against.
Ishawna was performing her song “Equal Rights,” which speaks to oral sex being received by females, where she had a life-sized cardboard cutout of Bounty Killer. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton.
According to Bogdanovich, artists are given the freedom to express themselves, but the festival does not condone disrespect.
“Downsound Entertainment is committed to free expression and providing a platform for Reggae and Dancehall music throughout the world. That said, creative expression has limits and Sumfest does not condone performances that insult or denigrate other Artistes or individuals,” the statement began.
Although Ishawna’s performance was done on Friday, the festival only responded on Monday, saying that her performance was demeaning and insulting.
“This sort of behavior is strictly prohibited under Sumfest policy and the agreements between Downsound and our Artistes. Despite this, it has come to our attention that one of the performers incorporated words and images into her performance that were insulting and demeaning.”
The festival added that they were unaware that she had plans to use the props and apologized to Bounty, whom they said they hoped would attend the event again.
“As a practical matter, we can’t control what an artist does when they get onstage,” the DSR statement reads. “In this case, we had no advance knowledge as to what was to take place. The behaviour was disrespectful and inexcusable and for that, we sincerely apologize to Bounty Killer for any offense caused. We love and respect Rodney Price on a personal and professional level and look forward to hosting him again at Reggae Sumfest.”
Bounty Killer and Ishawna have been at odds since the release of her song in 2017, when he condemned her for the track.
He had also refused to use the same mic that Ishawna had used at an event that year after her song release and has gone on the offense in a lengthy response to her actions on Monday. The deejay called out Ishawna for disrespecting him and referred to her as a “dancehall mattress,” hinting at her relationships with Foota Hype and rumored relationship with Bogdanovich.
In the meantime, Ishawna responded to Sumfest’s statement as she drew attention to Bounty Killer’s actions in the past.
“It’s the audacity for me….google is free #WelcomeToDancehall,” she captioned a screenshot of searching for ‘Bounty Diss’ on Facebook.
In a response shared on Instagram, Bounty Killer thanked Joe Bogdanovich for addressing the issues.
“An apology never always has to be sincere but just needed to be declared towards emotions shared despite the fact the apology is accepted by me through the window with this stupid issue now and back to business folks,” Killer wrote.