By Makeida Antonio
Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said that Tourism authorities acted in “exuberance and prematurely” when they commenced using the name, images, bio data, and other information of Hollywood Star Angela Bassett as a tourism ambassador-designate.
“Modalities had to be determined before to ensure that there are no tax implications or labeling as a politically exposed person (PEP) before they started using the information”, Browne said
News broke earlier today that Lawyers representing Bassett have asked the Ministry of Tourism to “immediately cease and desist any and all use of Ms. Bassett’s name and/or image in connection with the Tourism Board’s marketing or promotional efforts.”
Bassett was recently made the country’s Tourism Ambassador along with another actor Dawnn Lewis.
But in a letter dated May 10th issued by Bassett’s lawyers at law Fox Rothschild LLP, said no formal arrangement had been made in this regard.
“While Ms. Bassett is honored to be considered by the Tourism Board for the distinction of Tourism Ambassador, we need to discuss what this means for Ms. Bassett including, but not limited to, the duties, responsibilities, timeframe, and approvals, etc. that will be required of Ms. Bassett,”
“We request that the Tourism Board immediately cease and desist or stop using Ms. Bassett’s name, image, and biographical information in association with the designation of “Tourism Ambassador” until the parties have reached a mutual agreement, reflecting Ms. Bassett’s acceptance of the Ambassadorship position and outlining any obligations and protections for Ms. Bassett in connection therewith.”
The letter further accuses the Department of Tourism of using Bassett’s photos “taken during her trip to Antigua for commercial purposes without the customary prior approvals”
The Department of Tourism was given 15 May 2023 to acknowledge receipt of the correspondence.
They are also asked to “provide representation that all uses of Ms. Bassett’s name and image have been removed by the Tourism Board (or its licensees)”
Below is a copy of the letter: