Following the outrage expressed by British critics about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s attendance at the Bob Marley biopic premier, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has dubbed the backlash more publicity for Jamaica.
Meghan and Harry attended the Jamaican premiere of Bob Marley: One Love on January 23 at the Carib Theatre. Their attendance took many by surprise, especially members of the British media and royal commentators.
The critics labelled the couple insensitive for extending support to Jamaica while members of the royal family have been ill. They further took great offence to Harry and Meghan posing for photographs and mingling with Prime Minister Holness, whom they dubbed an “anti-royal.”
Following the coverage of the visit, Holness addressed the criticism on Wednesday and expressed surprise at being included in the condemnation of Harry and Meghan. However, he brushed off the backlash and stuck to the entertainment industry’s mantra that ‘no publicity is bad publicity.’
“I was pleased, and I was also very happy to see royals coming to participate in this major event. Unsuspecting [ … ] little did I know that I’d be drawn into some internal issues in the United Kingdom, but so it is, more publicity for Jamaica,” Holness stated, accepting the critiques as positive.
The prime minister addressed the matter while speaking at the official launch of the Jamaica Screen Development Initiative. The initiative will support and strengthen the local screen-based industries with a $1 billion financing programme.
During the launch, Holness highlighted that the Jamaica Screen Development Initiative’s investment in the local film industry will result in both cultural and significant economic benefits. In addition to addressing Harry and Meghan’s attendance at the Bob Marley: One Love premiere, Holness also disclosed that he had visited the production set of the film.
Speaking on his interactions with the members of the cast, Holness shared the actors’ love of Jamaica and expressed that their visit to the island was like a homecoming.