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When Jennifer Lopez and Kanye West recently performed for Asian dictators in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, respectively, human rights activists were appalled that the pop stars would associate themselves with such repressive regimes.
But Stephen Colbert‘s late-night character saw those incidents as the sign of a new trend in luxury spending, as he explained on Tuesday’s Colbert Report.
In the latest edition of his “Colbert Platinum” segment, aimed at ultra-rich members of his audience, the host advises “an underserved segment of the wealth community: dictators” to continue hiring Hollywood stars.
STORY: Kanye West Performs for Grandson of Kazakhstan’s Authoritarian President
“If you’re a shadowy developing world despot with money and villages to burn, you’ll want to get ahold of this season’s must-have accessory,” he says before cutting to a news report about West performing at a wedding reception for the grandson of Kazakhstan’s authoritarian president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has long been accused of human rights abuses and rigged elections.
Why did West and Lopez agree to perform for these oppressive rulers?
“One reason: Money talks and celebrities have excellent hearing,” Colbert explains.
After all, the host adds: “How could [Lopez] have known about Turkmenistan’s appalling human rights record: Google?”
VIDEO: Jennifer Lopez Performs at Birthday of Turkmenistan Leader
Colbert also said Lopez and West weren’t the only stars to consort with dictators: He performed a one-man Mark Twain show for Robert Mugabe.
“The critics didn’t like it, so he had them murdered,” Colbert says.
Watch Colbert’s full segment on stars performing for dictators below.
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