Green Room

J-Lo: Hey, sorry for singing Happy Birthday to Turkmenistan dictator

posted at 10:04 am on July 1, 2013 by

In her defense, how could she know that Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was one of the most repressive dictators in the world?  After all, it’s not as though he sits on the UN’s Human Rights Council, like Sudan and Cuba, who compete with Turkmenistan for that honor.  After being hired to perform by the China National Petroleum Corporation, which has deep investments in the central Asian republic, J-Lo apparently couldn’t be bothered to Google her final destination:

Jennifer Lopez spent her Saturday night in the oil-rich Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan, where she gave an immediately controversial concert that ended with her and her dancers singing “Happy Birthday” to Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, whose human rights record is considered one of the worst in Asia. The above video, likely from Turkmenistan state TV, shows clips from the concert, Lopez waving to Berdimuhamedow and the customary fireworks show for his birthday.

The concert was hosted by the China National Petroleum Corporation, a Chinese state-run energy firm with huge financial interests in the country, including a massive oil pipeline. China, to fill nearly insatiable energy needs, has a rapidly growing presence in the region.

A statement released by Lopez’s representatives says that she didn’t know about Turkmenistan’s or Berdimuhamedow’s human rights record. That’s not entirely implausible: how many Americans can honestly articulate the differences between every post-Soviet, Central Asian republic?

Er …. any that bother to check before cashing the check?  Anyway, J-Lo’s now very sorry she made that appearance, her publicist insists, although that check-cashing thing may not be on the table for penance:

Not exactly Marilyn Monroe quality anyway ….

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You break the page with the video at the bottom.

BigGator5 on July 1, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Yeah, I’ve fixed it … although I can’t do anything about the autostart.

Ed Morrissey on July 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I don’t expect performers to know much about world events (which is why I discount them when they talk politics), they are busy honing their craft. But don’t their managers, publicists, et al. have interns that can google these things?

rbj on July 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Of course, the other half of the outrage here is who paid her way: a Chinese state-run company. So, pretty much, she took money from Communist human rights abusers to sing Happy Birthday to a dictatorial human rights abuser.

GWB on July 1, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Now if she can just sorry for her movie career.

Oil Can on July 1, 2013 at 10:47 AM

No curiosity at all from J-Lo or her handlers about this guy, his country or his politics? He’s offered to pay how much? Dude, we’re so there.

Hill60 on July 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Actually it breaks my whole dang browser, locking it up and even disrupting my keystrokes (orig: “dsring my kystrokes”). Even after “fixing”.

GWB on July 1, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Yeah, I’ve fixed it … although I can’t do anything about the autostart.

Ed Morrissey on July 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Yes, you can. Don’t use any videos that autostart. Ever. Provide a link if you want. But autostarting videos are extremely bad netiquette.

Shump on July 1, 2013 at 10:58 AM

JLo is just sorry for getting caught.

BigGator5 on July 1, 2013 at 10:59 AM

All these progs accept millions of dollars from these thugs to perform. When caught, they issue an apology and keep the money.

Blake on July 1, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Of course, the other half of the outrage here is who paid her way: a Chinese state-run company. So, pretty much, she took money from Communist human rights abusers to sing Happy Birthday to a dictatorial human rights abuser.

GWB on July 1, 2013 at 10:41 AM

You need to be more specific. From what you wrote I could think she sang happy birthday to Obama at a gig funded by the DNC.

Oldnuke on July 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I don’t understand you people. It is totally OK for CEOs of major corporations to increase their wages by cutting wages or pension benefits because it is “the free market.” It is OK for people to buy diamonds even when they are linked to civil war and childhood mutilation, its cool for us to buy clothes made with child labor, in factories were workers are beaten. But its wrong for celebrities to accept money in the free market to perform for evil men? Make up your mind. Is it a free market, or isn’t it.

libfreeordie on July 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I’m stunned to actually find myself in agreement with libfreeordie. Outrage about her performance event is just ridiculous. And I really don’t think the outrage is over that anyway. This is just another one of those cases where it is appropriate to point out the rank hypocrisy of people like her and move on to the next topic.

I really don’t care where or for whom she performs. I think she is a typical vapid headed entertainment industry liberal. Few of them care about anything beyond their personal comfort and the wealth it takes to provide it and maintaining their fans to feed their egos. If she is sorry it is because the situation might impact one of those three factors.

P.S. -libfreeordie: Yeah, I’m for a free market

deepdiver on July 1, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Nobody claimed she was intelligent

JR on July 1, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Jenny from the former Soviet Bloc.

Christien on July 1, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Meh to tinpot Berdimuhamedov and his bass-ackward Muslim country. When are these Hollywood types going to start apologizing for helping to prop up America’s tyrant?

Gingotts on July 1, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Can anyone really pronounce Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, let alone saying it 3 times fast?

And yep, he is one of the most brutal thugs that were hatched out of the former Soviet Union. But then again, apart from the Baltic states, how many of them have become liberal democracies? Bueller, Bueller, Anyone?

simkeith on July 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

The Internet is tightly censored and most social media banned, which is why Lopez’s choreographer J.R. Taylor received little reply when he tweeted, upon landing, “The Turkmenistan Breeze feels amazing at night Kidz! I wonder were all my Turkmenistan followers are!? Hit me up!” The tweet was later deleted

Calling them willfully stupid would be an insult to the willfully stupid.

RadClown on July 1, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Nice ass. No class.

TXUS on July 1, 2013 at 10:10 PM

No brain idiot like most liberals.

Just a dummy.

Sherman1864 on July 1, 2013 at 10:26 PM

That’s not entirely implausible: how many Americans can honestly articulate the differences between every post-Soviet, Central Asian republic?

I’d expect any American who is considering traveling to one of them to find out. Once you accept a gig in a post-Soviet, Central Asian republic, you no longer belong to the group of Americans who isn’t expected to articulate the differences. While Turkmenistan’s

And libfree, this is the point…if you want to make the free-market decision to do something like this, you don’t get to be immune from the free-market consequences. Neither do you get to apoogize for doing it in an expectation of heading off those consequences.

James on July 1, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Bleh…while Turkmenistan’s internet may be censored, ours isn’t.

James on July 1, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Give her a break. She thought she was in Turkey. Now, Rosie Perez wouldn’t have made that mistake. She beat a brain surgeon and a rocket scientist on Jeopardy.

princetrumpet on July 2, 2013 at 11:24 AM