Cayman’s financial services minister to take fight to Hollywood
The financial services minister and her team will be turning their attention to one of the most persistent sectors peddling what she said was misinformation about Cayman by engaging the US film industry.
Taking the fight to Hollywood, Tara Rivers said she planned on meeting movie makers, script writers and others in the business of making films and TV shows that still paint this jurisdiction in a negative light in an effort to enlighten them on the real Cayman, she told the Legislative Assembly Friday.
Making her contribution to the budget debate before legislators adjourned for the weekend, Rivers described the efforts made over the last two years to lobby politicians and other groups about Cayman’s financial sector. But outlining the plans for more investment in promoting the industry’s adherence to international standards on the world stage and engaging organisations, Rivers revealed her intention to include the home of movie making on that agenda.
From the famous movie adaption of John Grisham’s novel, The Firm, to crime TV series where villains often hide their ill-gotten gains in the Cayman Island, the image of this jurisdiction as a tax haven in popular culture is enduring.
But the minister said that she planned to “set the record straight” in Hollywood and address the continuous misinterpretation of this jurisdiction in popular culture. The end goal, she added, was to influence how Cayman is portrayed and referenced in movies and minimise the negative slights about this country.
“To help dispel the misperceptions and indeed misrepresentations… it is important to address the source of the modern-day misinformation,” she said. “It is time we take this fight to Hollywood.”
She explained that her department would use the same direct engagement efforts that they have used before with politicians and other groups, to engage organisations within the American film-making industry.
“A targetted campaign for engagement with leading entertainment company executives is planned for the upcoming year. Our objectives for this effort are to correct the record, to educate content providers and to set the record straight about Cayman’s commitment to meeting international standards and combat financial crime and tax evasion. End goal is to positively influence how the Cayman Islands is referenced in film and television,” the minister said.
At the very least, Rivers added, she wanted to stop the erroneous throwaway references about the Cayman Islands that is still making its way into film and TV. The intention, she said, was to engage those writing the scripts and creating the stories to give them a reason to pause before they choose to refer to the Cayman Islands in a bad light.