Singer Jennifer Lopez is in hot water after agreeing to perform at a red carpet event for Qatar Airways Group in Atlanta. The gala, to be held at the historic Fox Theatre, will celebrate the airlines expanded service to include Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
While Lopez’ recent video for “Ain’t Your Mama” opens with a voiceover from Hillary Clinton stating “Women’s rights are human rights,” members of the Association of Flight Attendants are calling foul. The union says the state-owned airlines has a long history of subjugating and discriminating against female employees and LGBT people.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and the punishment can range from public flogging to five years in prison and the Middle Eastern country has a long and sordid history with human trafficking and slavery. 90% of the nation’s workforce are migrant laborers who are forced to surrender their passports upon entering the country. Workers who protest or try to leave are imprisoned.
Qatar Airlines workers are required to sign a lifetime confidentiality agreement and any employees who quit or are terminated are forbidden from re-entering the country. Until late 2015, women, who make up 80% of the company’s workforce, had to seek company approval to marry and were automatically fired if they became pregnant.
The union and other human rights organizations are asking Lopez to cancel her scheduled performance and prove she actually believes what she’s espousing – women’s rights are human rights.
The group is asking folks to tweet the superstar and urge her to drop the gig using the hashtag #JLoSayNo. A copy of a letter sent to Lopez by the Association of Flight Attendants is on the next page.