Justin Bieber was offered a cool $5 million to perform at an event during the recent Republican National Convention in Cleveland, but turned it down at the urging of his manager and LeBron James, TMZ reports.
The celebrity gossip site says that sources connected to the Canadian-born pop star’s talent agency CAA revealed that the deal appeared sweet on the surface — a record payday, all the money up front, production expenses covered, and no requirement to endorse the party’s policies or presidential candidate.
But according to TMZ, the event was steeped in GOP influence, from the money to the permitted messaging:
According to the contract, the $5 million was bankrolled by GOP donors… The donors also made it clear … Justin could say nothing disparaging about Trump or the GOP.
But the control didn’t end there. When Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, who has fundraised for Hillary Clinton, asked about displaying a “Black Lives Matter” banner at the 45-minute show, TMZ says they were denied and offered an “All Lives Matter” banner instead.
In the end, Braun had to draw the line, telling Bieber he couldn’t continue to represent him if he moved forward with the “100 percent political” show. TMZ also reports that the event promoter attempted to sway Bieber by telling him that LeBron James was going to be making an appearance in Cleveland “welcoming the GOP without taking a political stand.”
But when Bieber’s people reached out to James’s people, TMZ says, they not only learned that the basketball star had no such plan, but were also urged not to do the show. The singer’s band apparently refused to perform as well.
In the end, Bieber rejected the offer. While the Canadian doesn’t have any particular stake in the U.S. presidential election, he did show support for victims of the Orlando shooting at a recent concert in that city.