The entire world has united in its condemnation of the inhumane actions of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. His insane ramblings, the shameful massacre of his own people, the hit squad mercenaries: His leadership based on fearÂ is completely unacceptable. And I commend the Libyan people for having the courage to stand up for what they believe in, in spite of the consequences. And I also applaud the actions of the ordinary man in other Arab nations who have also stood up and demanded that their voices be heard. Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain … the list goes on.
But one voice in all of this who I didn’t need to hear, was Nelly Furtado.
She tweeted yesterday that she is going to give back the $1m she earned from a private 45-mins show she gave in front of the dictator’s clan at a hotel in Italy. I thought, ‘Gosh, how commendable.’ Then I realised the gig was in 2007, and also thought ‘Hang on why was she even performing for him in the bloody first place?’
The struggle of the Libyan people has hardly been a secret. Gaddafi has ruled with an iron fist for 45 years. His shady dealings and behaviour have been common knowledge the world over. So, what, after three years of living the high life on that $1m FurtadoÂ decides to pick up a paper and actually read what Gaddafi’s regime is all about?
I’m not saying that pop stars should enter the world of politics, lord no. But I do feel that they shouldn’t blindly follow the money and actually think about the private gigs that they get involved in. Yes, that includes you BeyoncÃ©, Mariah Carey, Lionel Ritchie and Timbaland. All of whom have at some point in the past performed for the Gaddafi’s.
Richie performed for the family at the Bab al-Azizia barracks in Tripoli in 2006. AndÂ Hannibal Gaddafi’sÂ (one of the sons)Â infamous New Year’s Eve gig on St. Barts has forked out tidy sums for BeyoncÃ© (apparently $2m for five songs in 2009), and Mariah Carey and Timbaland in 2008.
So … um … they really do follow the money, eh? Let’s just forget about human rights, mass killings, political assassinations â€” as long as I get my Benjamins. That extra $2m could really help to build that much neededÂ extra wing onÂ that Hamptons lodge.
Not knowing, in my opinion, is not an excuse. A simple Google search for any of those stars would have given them an understanding of the situation. But you never know, maybe they did read up on it but chose to turn a blind eye. And it is tempting. The money that the Gaddafi’s throw about ain’t pocket change, these are big sums.
But it intrigues me, when Gaddafi hands them that million dollar cheque with blood on his hands, do they scrubÂ their hands vigorously afterward to wash off that icky feeling deep down inside that’sÂ saying maybe that wasn’t a good idea?
What’s that feeling called again? Oh yeah. A conscience.