Florida agency paid Pitbull $1M for 'Sexy Beaches' promotion

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2016 4:43 PM
Florida agency paid Pitbull $1M for 'Sexy Beaches' promotion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Rapper Pitbull released his $1 million contract with Florida's tourism marketing agency via Twitter on Thursday, two days after a lawmaker sued to find out details of the agreement that included production of a video for the song "Sexy Beaches."

Pitbull tweeted "(asterisk)FULL DISCLOSURE - FLORIDA(asterisk)" with a link to the 11-page agreement to produce the "Sexy Beaches" video for Visit Florida and to promote the hashtag #LOVEFL on his social media sites and during concerts. Visit Florida was also responsible for expenses and production costs.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to have details of the contract disclosed. Visit Florida refused to say how much it paid the rapper, whose real name is Armando Christian Perez, or details of the arrangement, saying it was a trade secret.

Corcoran found that unacceptable, saying taxpayers should know just how Visit Florida was spending its money.

"It is unfortunate that it took litigation to lift the veil of secrecy on this particular contract," Corcoran said in a statement. "This was a long unnecessary journey through claims of trade secrets, threats of prosecution, and corporate welfare paid for by taxpayers."

House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz said she was furious over the deal.

"The state watches every pen that I buy. We're subject to approval for everything that we buy in our state office," Cruz said. "Yet these guys have the audacity and the arrogance to think that they could spend a million dollars on talent and not have to disclose it."

A lawyer for Pitbull let the tweet speak for itself.

"There will be no further comment from the Pitbull camp," Leslie Jose Zigel said in an email.

Visit Florida didn't return an email and a phone call seeking comment.

The video features images of women frolicking in the surf and sand as well as pictures of iconic Florida hotels such as Miami Beach's Fontainebleau and the pink Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach. It ends with an image of #LOVEFL written in the sand.

Cruz called the video and song lyrics offensive and "awful."

Cruz pointed out lines in the song like, "Little mama wanna live it up/Well, little mama better give it up" and "I'm looking for a freak, not a soulmate."

The video has nearly 10.7 million views on YouTube.

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AP writer Gary Fineout contributed to this report.

Follow Brendan Farrington on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bsfarrington