Publisher of the St. Lucia Star Newspaper Rick Wayne has responded to criticisms regarding a front-page photo that appeared on the Saturday, July 26 edition in which a woman’s breasts were exposed, stating that “it was my protest against Hurt It”.
Wayne told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview today that it is not the first time that his newspaper published a picture that caught the attention of its readers.
“The Star has always put on its cover, some of the ugliest things happening in the country,” Wayne said. “We are talking about ‘Hurt It’ like idiots while our women are raped and the cases never come to court because they are scared, because the laws are not on their side…women and children who get raped, murdered and forgotten.”
“I went to Vieux Fort during the weekend and all the kids were jumping up and singing ‘Hurt It’. Hurt what?” he questioned.
The newspaper publisher opined that the country’s moral fabric is quickly deteriorating. He said politicians are silent about the increasing number of rape cases, even though it is now becoming more rampant. The behaviour portrayed by the woman, he said, is what leads to these issues and causes social problems to increase.
Asked whether he believes the move to have that particular picture published was unethical, Wayne told SNO: “Ethics had nothing to do with it. When you go ethical and unethical these are valued judgments that are meaningless to anybody. What would happen if the girl would have broken the laws of obscenity in the country and that is all that matters yah know…our personal values and judgment…who gives a sh**.”
He believes that the woman should have been arrested for indecent exposure.
“They so offended by the picture of a girl and they don’t even recognise…simply because they saw the woman’s nipples, ugly as they were too. I knew she was not charged with obscenity, I knew that thousands of kids were looking on. I knew there were hundreds of cameras, I knew TV cameras were on her, I knew she was on the internet around the world and I knew that she knew what she was doing and I knew she wore that costume having checked with it at home.
“Everybody who was at the Carnival knew it. She jumped around and didn’t seem to care. Newspapers don’t invent moralities for people, newspaper report what is there, and what that picture depicts very clearly is how far we have come forward or backward in what is called the main cultural showcase of St Lucia,” Wayne stated.
“The reactions to the picture is palpable proof of the ignorance and hypocrisy of both the people who commented and the press people who think they can make a story out of it and underestimate me into believing that I did not have calculated reason for putting that picture there. And the calculated reason is this: it was totally in tune with what Carnival was about it was not fabricated and served as a great illustration of attitude both to carnival and the perceived morality of the country.”