Jennifer Lopez Got Paid To Sing For A Dictator

Jennifer Lopez Human Rights


Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is the President of Turkmenistan, a country in the former Soviet Bloc that Human Rights Watch called "among the most repressive in the world" (also second only to North Korea in press freedoms) and the United Nations basically called a shithole of injustice. Turkmenistan's only export is oil, so the China National Petroleum Corporation decided to throw Berdymukhamedov a birthday party. The only problem was what celebrity would immediately agree to attend and perform if they promised her a check? Since Beyonce wasn't available, cue Jennifer Lopez. The Guardian reports:

The US pop star Jennifer Lopezhas added to her long history of performing for unsavoury characters with a birthday concert for the president of Turkmenistan – a man accused of committing widespread human rights abuses while ruling over the hermit nation. Human rights activists criticised the star, also known as JLo, for singing at the flashy southern resort of Avaza on Saturday night to mark the 56th birthday of Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, attended by a select group of officials, diplomats and executives. With a shout of "Turkmenistan!", Lopez took to the stage to sing and dance her way through her biggest hits. At the end, she changed from a skimpy white dress into a long, traditional Turkmen outfit to sing Happy Birthday, Mr President. "It was our pleasure," Lopez said from the stage. "And we wish you the very happiest birthday."

Jennifer Lopez BURN (via Human Rights Foundation)

"Lopez obviously has the right to earn a living performing for the dictator of her choice and his circle of cronies. But her actions utterly destroy the carefully crafted message she has cultivated with her prior involvement with Amnesty International's programs in Mexico aimed at curbing violence against women."

Jennifer Lopez sees your statement and raises you a DAMAGE CONTROL by immediately throwing other people under the bus:
Jennifer Lopez and several other artists were invited and performed at a private corporate event for the China National Petroleum Corporation that was presented to their local executives in Turkmenistan. This was not a government sponsored event or political in nature. The event was vetted by her representatives, had there been knowledge of human right issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended. The China National Petroleum Corporation made a last minute ‘birthday greeting’ request prior to Jennifer taking the stage. This was not stipulated in her contract but she graciously obliged the China National Petroleum Corporation request.
Whatever. This chick couldn't even drive through Brooklyn in her Fiat commercial unless it was a green screen Brooklyn, but she has no problem performing for a dictator if they dangle $1M in front of her. She claims she had no idea, but her first hint should have came when she got off the plane and she couldn't find a wireless network. Or saw the children with their tongues cut out working on oil rigs. Or the women chained to the walls. Or the 57 puppies they drowned to celebrate this guy's birthday. Okay, I admit. I have no idea what goes on in Turkmenistan. I think Borat lives there.