All I want for Christmas, Mariah, is you to stop performing for dictators, says human rights group

December 20, 2013

More news on the Celebrities Who Perform For Dictators Beat!

I wish this beat did not exist, but as long as celebrities insist on performing for dictators and plutocrat presidents-for-life, we are stuck. Please, celebrities, stop doing this!

Latest on the list? Mariah Carey. In 2009, she serenaded Col. Moammar Gaddafi of Libya. More recently, she was in Angola, performing at what must have been one of the less cost-effective Red Cross benefit concerts ever, when you contrast her performance fee with the amount of funds it raised.

Mariah Carey performed at a benefit last weekend for the Angolan Red Cross — raising a mere $65,000, according to state media. I’ve seen Kickstarters raise twice that without flying in Mariah Carey to perform for anyone — especially not anyone who seems to have concentrated all his country’s wealth in himself and his family. The gala was sponsored by the Unitel mobile phone company, owned Angola’s first female billionaire, who, conveniently enough, is also the daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the man who has been president of Angola for the past 33 years and shows no signs of stopping any time soon. The president was also in attendance and appeared in a picture with Carey.

The performance brought fire from human rights advocates. Human Rights Foundation President Thor Halvorssen had some strong words in a statement: “Mariah Carey can’t seem to get enough dictator cash, reportedly more than $1 million this time. Just five years ago she performed for the family of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Now, she goes from private performances to public displays of support and credibility for one of Africa’s chief human rights violators and most corrupt tyrants.”

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.
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Alexandra Petri | December 20, 2013