Black Eyed Peas Face Backlash Over Planned Saudi Arabia Performance
The Human Rights Foundation is calling upon the alternative hip-hop group, Enrique Iglesias, Jason DeRulo and more to cancel upcoming concerts in the name of human-rights abuses.
Human rights activists are calling on the Black Eyed Peas and other performers to cancel their scheduled appearances at a music festival in Saudi Arabia next month.
Saudi Arabian officials have been under intense scrutiny since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the country's differing accounts of his death.
But the Human Rights Foundation has what it says is a long list of violations perpetrated by Saudi Arabia and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS.
“It is outrageous that these artists — who millions of people admire and idolize — have agreed to do business with the murderous regime of MbS,” said Human Rights Foundation chairman Garry Kasparov, the former chess champion.
The Black Eyed Peas, along with Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo, OneRepublic, David Guetta and Amr Diab, are set to perform at the Saudi Ad Diriyah E-Prix, an all-electric Formula E auto racing series and multi-day music festival.
"The hypocrisy of these musicians, who have previously called upon their fans to stand up for social justice and human rights, will destroy their credibility and reputation," said Kasparov.
He said he wants all of the artists to "cancel their performances immediately and apologize not just to their millions of fans, but also to the thousands of people who have been unlawfully imprisoned and tortured at the hands of the Saudi government.”
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the Human Rights Foundation is set today to issue a statement to the management of Black Eyed Peas making its case that MbS criminalizes peaceful dissent, has jailed thousands of journalists and intellectuals and tortures female activists with electric shocks, flogging and sexual assault.
Representatives for the Black Eyed Peas and Iglesias did not respond to a request for comment.
The Human Rights Foundation is best known in Hollywood as the group responsible for smuggling the comedy The Interview into North Korea in order to embarrass Kim Jong-un.