NZ tourism agency apologizes to Anna Faris

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) - New Zealand’s state tourism agency apologized to American actress Anna Faris on Tuesday for attacking her credibility after she described New Zealand men as vulgar.

Faris recently told U.S. talk show host George Lopez that New Zealand men had yelled obscenities at her while she was in the country filming the movie “Yogi Bear.” She said she was walking home from the movie set when separate carloads of men shouted profanities at her.

Tourism New Zealand spokesman Ian Long was quoted by the New Zealand Herald on Sunday as saying: “In the same segment, she accepts an award for being a pothead stoner of the year … I don’t think she has any credibility.”

The “Scary Movie” star was appearing on the chat show Lopez Tonight to promote “Yogi Bear” when she revealed she had recently won a “Stony,” a jocular award sponsored by High Times magazine, for her portrayal of a pot user.

In a statement on Tuesday, the tourism agency apologized for any offense its remarks had caused.

“The inference that Tourism NZ did not take Ms. Faris‘ comments seriously is very much regretted and was certainly not intended,” Tourism New Zealand said.

“On a U.S. talk show Ms. Faris spoke about disrespectful behavior she experienced during her stay in New Zealand and as a consequence her impression of New Zealand men is, to say the least, poor.”

The agency said it would offer Faris some “great Kiwi hospitality” to make up for its comments and the vulgar behavior she experienced.

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