Pitbull Declines Blatino Awards Nominations

JC Adams
NEW YORK — All-male studio Pitbull Productions has declined its recent Blatino Awards nominations, citing a contentious relationship with a show producer that includes a history of litigation.

Organizers FlavaMen Magazine and parent company Flava Works announced its inaugural slate of Blatino Awards nominees earlier this week, recognizing ethnic clubs and promoters, adult stars and studios, films and websites by and for men of color.

Pitbull received two nods: Best Studio and Best Latin DVD for "Thugz Paradise Rio" on its Blatino Gold subsidiary label.

In a statement released yesterday afternoon, the studio declined its citations and called for Flava Works CEO Phillip Bleicher to "remove any mention of Pitbull Productions and its movies within 24 hours from the Blatino Awards website."

"Pitbull has a long history of litigation against Phillip Bleicher," Pitbull Vice President Bruce Fleming said.

"Furthermore, Pitbull does not endorse the types of movies included in the nominations, nor does it wish to have anything to do with any award show that Mr. Bleicher is involved with."

The initial slate of nominees were determined by fan submissions to BlatinoAwards.com.

"Pitbull Productions may decline to participate in the Blatino Awards, but their fans nominated them, not Flava Works," Bleicher told XBIZ. "Members of the public cast their votes online to determine the finalists."

Voting to determine the winners is now open to the public through Aug. 10. The winners will be announced at a ceremony during the Atlanta Black Pride Celebration over Labor Day weekend.