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Scandal: Jennifer Lopez’s Turkmenistan performance

Scandal: Jennifer Lopez’s Turkmenistan performance
July 1, 2013 JEREMY FEIST

Jennifer Lopez

First off, happy Canada Day! Yeah, I actually get to post this year because I didn’t make the dumbass mistake of drinking melon liquor during Pride like I did last year and I woke up without a hangover. Yay learning! Anyway, onto the celebrity ridicule: Jennifer Lopez is in pretty deep sh!t today after she performed for the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. (Apparently, he was named by throwing a keyboard against the wall. Either that or the doctor who delivered him rubbed his balls on a Ouija board.) Turns out, Turkmenistan is one of the worst offenders of human rights in the world, and now J.Lo is going to have to explain her way out of this one. Via The Guardian

Lopez’s entourage appeared unaware they were heading to a country where the internet is tightly controlled. Access to social media and websites run by independent media and human rights groups is banned. “I wonder where all my Turkmenistan followers are!? Hit me up!” tweeted her choreographer JR Taylor. The tweet was later deleted as reports of Lopez’s controversial performance began to spread.

Lopez’s publicist released a statement on Sunday saying that had the singer been aware of the country’s human rights issues, she would not have performed there. The statement said she was invited to perform for CNPC and “graciously obliged” their last-minute request to sing a birthday tune for Berdymukhamedov.

Lopez has also performed at the wedding of an Uzbek businessman in Ukraine, reportedly for $1m (£660,000), as well as for the Azeri oligarch Telman Ismailov, reportedly for $1.4m.

Here’s the thing: J.Lo clearly has a huge entourage of people at her service, and at no point did anyone think to run this through Google to make sure they weren’t performing for a human rights violator? I know the paycheck was pretty substantial, but considering how many celebrities ended up eating total sh!t after it was discovered they performed for Gadhafi a couple years back (although most ended up donating the money they were paid) you’d figure that someone would have gotten on top of this.

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.