Thor Halvorssen Sets His Sights on Celebrities who Perform for Dictators

January 4, 2017Global Attorneys, Human Rights Foundation Standard

Global superstars like Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, and Nicki Minaj can command millions of dollars per performance. And they deserve it. Thier music brings happiness to fans all over the world. However, there is a growing trend of celebrities accepting large sums of money to perform for brutal dictators around the world.

This is a trend that Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), want to see come to an end. Halvorssen has been an open critic of celebs who take money from tyrants. One of the most recent was his very public shaming of rapper Nicki Minaj.

In December of 2015, Minaj announced that she would be performing for Angolan strongman, Jose Eduardo dos Santos for a reported fee of $2 million. This did not sit well with Halvorssen and he decided to try to persuade Minaj to cancel the concert.

In an open letter to the rapper begging her to reconsider. Those words, however, fell on deaf ears. Minaj went on with the concert and even bragged about it on social media.

Halvorssen and HRF have been effective in shining a light on these types of performances. When Beyonce decided to perform for then-Lybian dictator Muammar Gaddafi it was Halvorssen who shone the light on the situation. Ultimately, Beyonce was forced to apologize for her lapse in judgment and donated her fee to a Haitian charity.

These types of performances for dictators happen more often that celebrities and their management would like to admit. So it is a good thing that Tor Halvorssen and HRF are on the scene.

The Human Rights Foundation is dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights for all citizens across the globe. The New Yorke-based nonprofit was founded in 2005. Halvorssen is also the founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual gathering of human rights advocates and dissidents from around the world.