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Lawrence city leaders upset over HERE KS promotional video

Video featured shots of KU's Devonte Graham
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Posted at 6:58 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 19:58:24-04

A promotional video for a new Lawrence apartment complex, featuring women in bikinis and a University of Kansas basketball player, has since been removed from YouTube.

The video was used to promote the HERE KS apartment complex.

It includes actual footage of a pool party at the complex and features residents dressed in bikinis and swimsuits, drinking beverages and dancing. There are times when the camera zooms in on women’s bodies.

“I question the appropriateness, especially with the city publicly incentivizing that project,” said Lawrence Mayor Mike Amyx.

In order to solidify the apartment complex, the previous City Commission provided the HERE project with an 85 percent property tax rebate. The incentives had been granted under the Neighborhood Revitalization Act.

“If you are going to partner with the city through an incentives program, there are probably different rules that need to be followed,” said Amyx. “I think this has been taken care of.”

The developers removed the video after receiving a cease and desist order from the University of Kansas. The video featured shots of University of Kansas basketball player Devonte Graham.

41 Action News reached out to the university’s athletic department. In emails, they told us Graham did not know about the video. When the university was made aware of it they issued the letter because “an individual's appearance in such a video could be construed by some as an endorsement, which NCAA rules do not permit.”

The apartment complex developers have since admitted the promotional video was a “mistake.”

HERE first faced controversy when it opened in August.

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Ariel Rothfield can be reached at Ariel.Rothfield@KSHB.com.

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