Controversy is good. It stirs debate and forces people to engage in subjects, they might not otherwise have looked at twice. Last week we ran an exclusive on Gran Habano’s new Zulu Zulu line, which caused a fair amount of chatter due to its controversial box art. Essentially the controversy fixated on the use of African Child Soldiers as promotional tools to promote their new line. Right or wrong, Gran Habano had not clarified or spoken on the matter until today. The following is the pertinent sections from their press release about the Zulu Zulu line:
“…Each box will feature one of two unique images commissioned by George Rico from the Miami artist, and friend, known as “Kid”. Gran Habano will release the Zulu Zulu to select retailers across the country.
As the personal cigar in his private collection George A. Rico wanted to take the opportunity to bring awareness to an organization he holds close to his heart – Invisible Children.
Invisible Children is an organization; “…that uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity.”
A portion of the proceeds from all boxes sold will be donated directly to Invisible Children. For more information on Invisible Children please take the time to explore their website and videos at http://InvisibleChildren.com. “
There you have it, the official response of Gran Habano, in regards to their newest release. Whether you perceive the press release as a means to make amends or an earnest explanation to lend context to the company’s desire to bring awareness to their audience; the art pieces have done their job. Today Gran Habano has clarified their position and hopefully drawn more attention to the plight of the Invisible Children, thus making them a little less “invisible” to the public conscience.