Jennifer Lopez is back as a judge on American Idol. She's also back after singing "Happy Birthday" to dictator Berdimuhamedow during an event hosted by the China National Petroleum Corp.
Gurbanguly Mälikgulyýewiç Berdimuhamedow has served as the president of Turkmenistan since 2006. Berdimuhamedow has been criticized for oppressive rule by human rights organizations. Human Rights Watch describes Turkmenistan as "among the most repressive in the world."
Lopez says she was unaware of Berdimuhamedow's egregious human rights violations, and has apologized through her representative. Mistake or not, Lopez was paid $1.5 million for the gig. According to Thor Halvorssen of the Human Rights Foundation "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."
The $1.5 million check cleared and then came the apology. "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. A Google search of Berdimuhamedow led me to Wikipedia. It took 1 second to get the vetting on this guy. Miss Lopez must have some pretty stupid representatives.
I believe people are accountable for their own actions and responsible for their own decisions and the consequences that follow. Miss Lopez should have found out who she was working for, regardless of what her handlers said.
As for American Idol, they could have chosen a judge from the pool of so many talented singers but just like us with politics; there are over 300 million people in the United States, the same guys run for office we keep on electing them over and over again.