Jennifer Lopez Sorta Apologizes For Playing Concert In Turkmenistan
Attending the birthday party of a world leader with a negative or mixed reputation rarely goes well for Hollywood celebrities. Back in 2011, Hilary Swank was dragged through the coals for hanging out with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov during his celebration, and now, Jennifer Lopez has been hit with the same types of negative stories over her decision to perform for Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, the President of Turkmenistan.
The concert in question happened last night in Awaza, a wannabe resort town on the east side of the Caspian Sea. You can watch a highlight video of her belting out her biggest hits, as well as a special rendition of “Happy Birthday” from the concert below…
As you can tell by the above footage, Lopez certainly seemed pleased while she was there, and she was certainly happy to pick up her appearance fee. Once news of her appearance leaked, however, more than a few people wondered whether she made the right decision, which caused her to immediately collapse like a poorly hung up dress. Here’s what her publicist told TMZ after the first hint of trouble…
"Had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended."
Because the story is so new, it’s hard to tell at this point whether the controversy will blow over like Alec Baldwin’s latest brouhaha or will linger like the Paula Deen racism allegations. Either way, Lopez will probably be better served by solidifying her story and sticking to it. She either needs to own this decision and say she’s more than willing to play music for anyone and isn’t concerned about politics, or she needs to release a better apology than the above and vow to spend more time looking into anyone that hires her to make sure there aren’t any human rights violations or sketchy skeletons in the closet.
President Berdimuhamedow, who originally worked as a dentist, began working at the Turkmenistan Department of Health in the late 1990s before he was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister in 2001. Five years later, he won a Presidential election, and recently, he won reelection with a stunning 97%, which is both eye-popping and a good indication of why Turkmenistan has long been criticized for its lack of tolerance toward different viewpoints and different political candidates.
We’ll keep you updated on the JLo situation as more details emerge. More than likely, the hoopla will just blow over, but as more than a few celebrities have learned, sometimes the general public gets bizarrely interested in a weird scandal.