On July 23, 2021, Reggaenorthca.com published an article regarding the firing of Wayne Jones aka Scabba G from CIUT 89.5 FM after over 20 years of on-air service. The firing was allegedly a result of a complaint that was received by the radio station. The complainant, who made a brief statement in the original story, reached out to Reggae North because he felt he needed to clear the air and give a more detailed side of the story after reading what was presented by Scabba G. Below is the complainant’s version of the story.
I would first like to stress that the news of the station releasing the DJ from his position came to me as a complete shock. I am deeply saddened that they made such a drastic and devastating decision, as, I did make it clear, including in writing, that the station should not do any such thing as a result of me communicating with them directly. I felt in my mind that the issue was resolved once I had received the refund.
The manager first told me that the DJ did not contest the allegations before the refund will be issued to me. Any further action(s) on the part of the station was not any part of my inquiry or of any interest to me. Further, the DJ assured me that the station was well aware of the payment I had made to him for the campaign and that it was completely in step with station policy. This payment was NOT for any gig outside the radio station activity, i.e. “MC for an event or party”. The DJ at this point was already paid in full for any outside engagement prior to the campaign.
After making the payment for the campaign, in an effort to promote a new release by a debuting artist that I manage, I was not entirely sure how the campaign was going and had some questions for the DJ, just to get updated. I was unable to get in touch with the DJ after many calls and leaving many messages, including voice notes asking for a receipt of payment for the campaign. He agreed to arrange a receipt, but never produced one. His reason was that “because of the COVID lockdown all the stores were closed so it was difficult to get a receipt book”. Naturally, I began to question the legitimacy of the transaction for the campaign.
The receipt was not for the gig as I did not ask anyone else on that gig for a receipt, why then would I ask only the DJ/MC? Besides, I wouldn’t need a receipt from him for the gig because it was paid by e-transfer and the transfer is a receipt by itself. However, I paid the DJ cash for the campaign, hence, my request for a receipt as proof of payment, which I did not receive, despite several efforts to obtain one from him. There are WhatsApp messages between the DJ and myself as proof of this.
All my calls and messages went unanswered until I called from my second number and he finally answered, only for him to immediately tell me that he was “caught up in something right now” and that he would have to “call back later”. The DJ then hung up on me abruptly, right in the middle of me responding to him. Naturally, I called right back, but to no avail.
I then left the DJ a stern voice note on WhatsApp telling him in no uncertain terms that if he did not call me back as he said, he would leave me no other option at that point but to communicate with the station directly. In hindsight, I now realize why he ignored this potential threat; because he already had a spin on the facts prepared to agree that he took payment but then claim that the payment he received was for an outside gig and not a radio campaign. Smh.
When the DJ chose not to call me back as he said he would, and especially after me leaving such a stern message about communicating with the station directly, I took it as he would much rather that I do go to the station directly and not him. The only thing in my mind at that time was that the station could either fix the situation or at the very least refund me.
I waited for the DJ’s call, but again received no call back. I was then left with no choice but to communicate with the station directly, as I had told him I would in the voice note. When I did mention the campaign and subsequent payment to the station manager, he had quite the negative reaction to even the idea of such a payment (which again, the DJ assured me was not against station policy). I insisted to the manager right then, that removing the DJ from his position was not something I was even remotely interested in as a result of me communicating with the station directly, if that’s what he’s thinking. The manager assured me that he understood that I did not wish for the DJ to be removed from his position, but made no guarantees.
Regarding the live event referred to by the DJ, I did provide the DJ on the night of the gig, 100 dollars which he in fact gave to the sound system. A short while after the gig the DJ received another 100 dollars (on my behalf) from a third party, this third is also aware of the cash payment for the campaign as well as the e-transfer payment prior, for the gig.
According to the DJ, he also passed on that second hundred dollars to the sound system, and did not keep anything for himself, I then personally at a later date paid the DJ 150 dollars on Friday, Dec 4, 2020 at 7:36 PM, via e-transfer, from a friends email (just for the transfer) apologizing for the delay and thanking the him for his service. The cash payment for the campaign was made about a week or two after the e-transfer payment on Dec 4. 2020 for the campaign.
No live gig outside of the radio station had anything whatsoever to do with my communicating with the station directly nor with the refund they issued back to me. That in and of itself would place the station to be practicing against its own policies and a complete violation of the DJ’s right to perform/work outside of the radio station.
The station could not release the DJ, or any other employee or volunteer of their duties, based solely on unfounded allegations, unless the allegation(s) was proven to be factual or admitted to by whom ever is suspected of any wrongdoing. If not, the DJ is well within his rights to sue the station for wrongful dismissal and myself for defamation of character. He should be fighting the fight of his life to protect his honour, respect, and dignity in the community and getting back his position and receiving a public apology from the station, if I am lying and the station got it wrong. However, the DJ is clearly not putting up the slightest of fight against this so-called wrongful dismissal and alleged defamation of character that supposedly arose from false allegations. I wonder why, why is the DJ not fighting back, but rather awaiting an “investigation” after the axe has already been dropped?
What transpired between the station and the DJ is really between the station and the DJ and according to their arrangements and agreements and is much bigger than my communication with the station regarding a single campaign.
My communication with the station by itself could not and should not have led to such a drastic decision on the part of the station, unless there’s more to the story, especially in light of the DJ’s longevity and what he represents for the Reggae community, as well, the community at large.
The DJ must share some of the responsibility for what led to that call, but regardless of the manner in which I was treated by the DJ, this decision by the station to release him from his position has caused me to deeply regret ever placing that call, because absolutely, I did not wish for this to have happened to him at all”.
Accepting money from an artist “under the table” to play their songs on a radio show is against the CRTC and CIUT regulations and is illegal and could put the station’s broadcasting license in jeopardy. Whatever the case is, we believe CIUT should say so and disclose what they found in their investigation to verify their decision. Until then, we can only speculate and await a statement from CIUT stating the true reason why Scabba G was fired from the station. Just stating that the matter is confidential station business and that they cannot speak to the issue at this time will not suffice when a community, who has supported the station over the years, is seeking answers regarding what led to the dismissal of one of its members who has been serving the reggae music community for over 2 decades.