Antigua and Barbuda’s decision to appoint Angela Bassett as a tourism ambassador was a spontaneous move by the Prime Minister, according to government spokesman Lionel Hurst.
This statement comes as lawyers for the American actress demand that the government stops using her name and photos for marketing purposes.
During a post-Cabinet press briefing, Hurst explained that the decision to announce Bassett’s appointment before any formal agreement was signed was due to a spur-of-the-moment invitation and acceptance by Bassett and fellow actress Dawnn Lewis.
Hurst also addressed the lawyer’s letter, stating that it was an attempt to protect Bassett from potential tax liabilities and legal requirements associated with acting as a foreign agent for a foreign government.
He claimed that the government had until the end of the day on Monday to respond to the letter, and that all use of Bassett’s name and photos must be removed by the Tourism Board and its licensees.
Last week, the Cabinet announced the appointment of Bassett and Lewis as tourism ambassadors, stating that both actresses had agreed to make appearances on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda.
The official ceremony is expected to take place in New York in June.
While the government spokesperson did not provide further details, he emphasized that the Prime Minister had the authority to appoint ambassadors under the country’s constitution.