Pitbull not talking about Florida tourism deal even as pressure mounts
Pitbull and his attorneys are not talking, but pressure is mounting in the Florida Legislature against the Miami music icon over a secret contract he has with the state's tourism marketing agency to promote Florida beaches.
A day after Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran filed suit against Pitbull's production company to force disclosure of the deal, attorneys for the pop star were refusing to talk about the case.
"We have no comment on this matter," said Leslie Jose Zigel, an attorney representing Pitbull and his company, PDR Productions Inc.
Corcoran's strong-arm legal tactic is gaining support as state legislators express moral outrage at the music video Pitbull released in the summer that includes bikini-clad women frollicking on the beach. The Sexy Beaches video ends with the social media hashtag #ILoveFL.
"I'm not against people having bold ideas and executing on those," said state Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican who is chairman of a committee with oversight of the state's tourism budget. "But I want to make sure that at the end of the day that it reflects the values of the state of Florida. That's the major concern here."
House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz called the video offensive because of the "sexualization and degradation of women."
"It's demeaning to women," said Cruz, a Tampa Democrat.
She said if Pitbull wants to make those types of songs and videos, Florida taxpayers shouldn't be paying for it.
Corcoran has called the lyrics "reprehensible" and called the video terrible.
How much Florida helped pay for that video is a mystery. Visit Florida has refused to release details of its contract with Pitbull. Visit Florida officials say terms of the deal are protected as a "trade secret." Visit Florida CEO Will Seccombe said he'll never do another contract that doesn't disclose the terms because of the position the Pitbull contract has put everyone in, but he insists the deal was a good one, allowing Visit Florida to reach an audience that avoids traditional advertising and media.