Yesterday, we reported on a controversy rumbling its way through the Florida state legislature, centered on the state’s tourism marketing department, and its decision to give rapper Pitbull a million dollars to be Florida’s “celebrity tourism ambassador.” (Said dignitary’s responsibilities including concerts, “Pit Packages,” and the video for the rapper’s hotel-touting single, “Sexy Beaches.”) Now, Governor Rick Scott is calling for the head of Visit Florida to resign over the incident.
Scott’s objection isn’t to Pitbull per se, despite the fact that the Miami-born singer once wrote a song—also about hotels, weirdly—in which he rapped, “Your man just left / I’m the plumber tonight / Let me check your pipes / Oh, you’re the healthy type / Oh, here come some egg whites.” Instead, Scott is troubled by the tourism arm’s refusal to disclose how much they paid Pitbull, a figure which was only released after the rapper himself leaked the contract onto the internet. (This, two days after Florida House speaker Richard Corcoran launched a lawsuit to investigate the board’s claim of “trade secrets” in the matter.)
“The notion that Visit Florida spending would not be transparent to the taxpayers is just ridiculous,” Scott said in a letter calling for Visit Florida president Will Seccombe to resign. But Scott softened when it came to Pitbull himself, who, it’s worth noting, we’re legally obligated to refer to as “Mr. Worldwide” at least once per article about him. “I appreciate Pitbull and his devotion to our great state,” Scott said, referring to Mr. Worldwide. “His willingness to help promote tourism in Florida is a great example for other entertainers to follow.”