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Amnesty International apologizes to Iggy Pop over Justin Bieber torture ad

Amnesty International apologizes to Iggy Pop over Justin Bieber torture ad
June 26, 2014 JEREMY FEIST

Amnesty International

Recently, Amnesty International released a series of ads against torture, which featured beaten celebrities saying the kind of stuff that goes against their entire belief system. You know, stuff like the Dalai Lama condoning materialism and Karl Lagerfeld advocating bad fashion. It’s actually a pretty clever campaign to show young people what torture can entail. Anyway, one of the ads featured a bloodied and bruised Iggy Pop saying that Justin Bieber was the future of rock and roll. One tiny problem: They never actually got Iggy’s permission to use his likeness. So here comes the apology …

To generate awareness about our campaign against torture, Amnesty International Belgium French speaking section used an image of Iggy Pop without his authorization. Even though we acted in good faith, we would like to apologise to Iggy Pop for having done so. The overall goal of this campaign is to try to influence people’s ideas on the use of torture. According to surveys, a shocking number of people believe that “torture may sometimes be useful” ; more than 36% of people even think that torture is justified in some cases. This is unacceptable, and we illustrate this reality with the message that a man who is tortured will say anything in order to escape this awfulness, using provocative images and statements to attract public attention. We would therefore also like to make it clear that the statement attributed to Iggy Pop that he believes Justin Bieber is the future of rock and roll does not represent Iggy Pop’s personal opinion but was part of the creative process for this campaign and was intended to be ironic. SOURCE

The sad thing is, it actually is a pretty smart way to frame their views on the use of torture. If they could have just asked permission, it probably would have been okay. I mean really, who turns down Amnesty International? I mean, you could, but it would be really hard to do.

Jeremy Feist is an (ahem) entertainer from Toronto, Canada. He writes, acts, and performs on stage, and has been a writer for Popbytes for almost three years now. He lives in Toronto with his boyfriend, his incredibly dumb but cute puppy, and his immortal cat.