The White House has removed a petition from its We the People Web site calling for singer Beyonce to be disinvited from performing the national anthem at President Obama's inauguration.
The star and longtime Obama supporter has a $50 million sponsorship contract with PepsiCo. Public health advocates urged her to reconsider the deal last month, citing health issues linked to soft drinks.
Beyonce, who is also slated to perform at the Super Bowl, has helped promote Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative to combat childhood obesity. She and her husband, Jay-Z, hosted a fundraiser for Obama's reelection campaign in September. Beyonce also performed Etta James's "At Last" for the Obamas' first dance at a 2009 inaugural ball.
A White House spokesperson told the Obama Foodarama blog that Beyonce's performance at the inaugural is "not something the White House actually has jurisdiction over."
Selecting performers is a function of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, not the White House. We the People's terms of participation state that users cannot post "petitions that do not address the current or potential actions or policies of the federal government."
Environmental activist Laurie David started the petition and wrote a blog post on the Huffington Post urging readers to sign it.
Earlier this week, the White House earlier raised the threshold of signatures required for an official White House response to We the People petitions from 25,000 to 100,000 after use of the site doubled in the last two months of 2012.