Don’t Buy Cristal But Do Turn A Blind Eye To Blood Money

March 2, 2011  |  

by Selam Aster

I have two questions for Jay-Z: Should we continue to support your boycott of Cristal because the company’s CEO made condescending remarks about the significance of rap music to the champagne’s popularity and sales? Secondly, do you find it at all hypocritical that you see it fit to enjoy a New Year’s Eve celebration bankrolled by the notorious Gaddafi family when you know him to be a corrupt dictator?

Well, maybe, I’m misdirecting my questions. It was his wife Beyonce, along with Mariah Carey and Usher, who performed for the Gaddafis despite the fact that the patriarch of the famous family,  Muammar Gaddafi, was denying freedom to millions of Libyan citizens while he continued to rule in his own interests and enrich himself with oil money so that this children could enjoy private parties like the ones these celebrities performed at.

Nelly Furtado has recently said that she’ll give the $1 million that she earned performing for the despot. This is remarkable given that Furtado earns less than the other three big headliners. If they don’t soon follow suit and donate their fees, then I would hope that they’ll pay by losing fans. It’s despicable that these artists cannot simply say no to these type of proposals and turn down the extra million dollar check. What is an extra million to someone like Beyonce who already earns over $80 million a year? We don’t want to see our best performers and musicians as greedy and money-hungry but given these circumstances, what else can we call it?

These musicians will possibly blame their acts on ignorance and naivete but the public should be cautioned against buying that type of story. Million dollar artists have the entourages to support their well-oiled business machines. Those entourages include public relations personnel and managers whose jobs involve inspecting and assessing these type of deals. Trust me, Beyonce, Usher and Carey knew what they were getting into but didn’t bet that an uprising in the Middle East would somehow result in them being held responsible for their actions years later.

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