Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon has said the matter of an international rum being called J’Ouvert is “of extreme concern” owing to the intellectual property question.
She made the comment during an interview with the Newsday. This comes as a result of social media furore by TT national over the weekend, on seeing the launch of a J’Ouvert rum box by Black Panther star, Michael B Jordan.
Many have accused the Hollywood celeb of cultural appropriation.
Gopee-Scoon said, “The first thing is to gather the information to see if it is in fact so. Then working together with the intellectual property office of the Ministry of the Attorney General, we’ll do the necessary investigation and, as always, seek to support anything that is Trinidad but at the same time protect what is ours.
She added, “This is of keen interest, not only to the Ministry of Trade and Industry but also to the intellectual property office of the Ministry of the Attorney General, and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. We all have an interest. Trinidad and Tobago is our interest.”
The J’Ouvert box set displaying the rum, a written reference to Trinidad and to J’Ouvert as a local celebration of emancipation and Carnival and includes two bottles of Angostura Bitters.