Whoops! When Jennifer Lopez was performing at a show hosted by the China National Petroleum Corp. in Turkmenistan, she was requested to sing “Happy Birthday” to the country’s leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Thinking nothing of it, she obliged. Unfortunately for her, Berdimuhamedow is infamous for his oppressive rule of the former Soviet country.
According to Human Rights Watch (via the Associated Press), Turkmenistan is “among the most repressive [countries] in the world.” Lopez is now having to backpedal on her actions, releasing a statement saying she wouldn’t have performed in Turkmenistan at all if she’d known it was the home of human rights issues. Her publicist also clarifies that the concert wasn’t a political event.
“Had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended,” the statement reads. Well, at least Berdimuhamedow probably had a great birthday.