This story begins as nearly all stories about Florida politics do: with Pitbull, an autotune machine, and a handful of scantily-clad women grinding on Mr. Worldwide as he barks out the words, “sexy beaches, hotels.”
In July, Pitbull released a video called “Sexy Beaches” produced for Visit Florida, a state-run agency dedicated to promoting tourism in the Sunshine State. In the video, Pitbull does exactly what you’d expect him to do—he smirks and raps while wearing white pants, things which inexplicably impress a gaggle of frolicking women who are eager to impress Florida’s finest singer. Great. Wonderful. Who doesn’t want to morph into Mr. 305 and frolic on a sexy beach or two? Who could resist the lure of such a promise? Apparently, the Florida legislature.
Pitbull’s video caught the eye of Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran who, earlier this week, filed suit against the singer and his production company over “Sexy Beaches.” Corcoran called the lyrics “reprehensible” and implied that Pitbull’s insistence that he doesn’t “bring the sand to the beach” but brings “the beach to the sand,” was bad. The House Speaker was joined in his objections to the taxpayer-funded video by House Democratic Janet Cruz who told the Miami Herald that the video was offensive because it was “demeaning to women.” The Herald reports that Cruz “said if Pitbull wants to make those types of songs and videos, Florida taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for it.”
The Florida legislature’s issue with “Sexy Beaches” was twofold: first, it’s apparently obscene (no “booty like bang, bang, bang” for the Florida legislature); second, it was initially unclear how much Visit Florida paid Pitbull to produce “Sexy Beaches.” Via the Herald:
How much Florida helped pay for that video is a mystery. Visit Florida, the state’s tourism arm, has refused to release details of its contract with Pitbull. Visit Florida officials say terms of the deal are protected as a “trade secret.”
That’s right, “Sexy Beaches” is a trade secret, one that Pitbull was initially unwilling to disclose:
Pitbull’s attorneys as recently as last week warned the Florida House that disclosure of a trade secret would violate state law and could result in a felony against anyone who discloses the information. Corcoran has seen the terms of the deal and wants it made public. But instead of trying to force Visit Florida to disclose the deal, Corcoran has sued Pitbull’s production company, PDR Productions Inc., arguing the contract is not eligible to be protected under the state’s trade secrets confidentiality clause.
The threat of a lawsuit, apparently, changed Pitbull’s mind. This morning on Twitter, Pitbull shared a statement, a photo of himself on the beach, and the details of his contract with Visit Florida. “#LoveFL Since birth...and till the day I die. Dale!,” he wrote on Twitter.
His saga with the Florida legislature now concluded, Pitbull is free to return to strolling sexy beaches, having the time of his life, and ruling Planet Pit. The moral of the story is clear: Visit Florida for its sexy beaches, stay for its insanely stupid politics.