After performing in Turkmenistan for country leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Jennifer Lopez has become the latest celebrity to issue an apology for performing for a ruler with a questionable human rights record. On Sunday, her publicist released a statement saying that “had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended.” Suuuuurrrreeee she wouldn’t have.
Even though, as the Human Rights Watch puts it, Turkmenistan’s government is characterized by “extraordinary levels of repression,” all that matters — and all that really will ever matter in situations like this — is that their ruler had enough money to get Lopez to perform. That’s all there is to it. Lopez and her staff can backtrack and apologize now because of the public outrage, but if we’re being honest here, it’s far more likely that this apology resulted from being caught and not because she is truly sorry.
Of course, there’s an off-chance that Lopez could be genuinely remorseful for her actions. If, however, she truly were concerned about human rights issues, couldn’t she get her team to check out that sort of thing before performing in a country she apparently knew so little about? A simple Wikipedia check would have told her all she needed to know.
Based on celebrity track record alone, it’s more than likely that this was simply an easy way to make a quick buck. Beyoncé, Nelly Furtado, 50 Cent, Mariah Carey and Usher all were paid large amounts of money to perform at parties linked to late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. All would later issue apologies akin to Lopez’s and donate their earnings to charity in an effort to atone for their errors.
To be clear, I’m not complaining about this. The last thing I expect is for celebrities to act as society’s moral compass. Do I believe, however, that these celebrities are truly sorry for their unbridled greed? Of course not. Many people, not just celebrities, make money everyday in ways that are morally questionable in this country and in the rest of the world as well. Sure, I wish this were different, but I’d be just as foolish to think this were going to change as I would be to believe in the veracity of Lopez’s apology.
Previously from Charlie Crespo:
♦ The Dwight Howard Free-Agency Saga Can’t End Soon Enough
♦ Your Monday Monkey News Update
♦ Beertopia: Goose Island’s Honker’s Ale
♦ For the Miami Heat, the Smallest Bounce Makes All the Difference
♦ Nik Wallenda’s Grand Canyon Walk: A Dream That Should Have Been Deferred