The furious backlash over J’Ouvert rum is myopic and has made us poorer.
It all started when American actor Michael B Jordan (of Black Panther fame) launched a rum in California called J’Ouvert, named after the daybreak opening festival of Caribbean carnivals, originating from the celebrations of freed slaves.
This immediately triggered a backlash on social media and in the press in TT and internationally.
Spotting the perfect ingredients for the culture wars so beloved by Generation Z and Millennials, the BBC and Buzzfeed picked up the story, with TT-born rap star Nicki Minaj wading in. Competing local rum manufacturer Angostura disavowed any connection, touting its authentic credentials.
The net result: faced with a media storm, Jordan has contritely apologised and promised to rename the rum.