Erykah Badu’s Oppressively Apolitical Stance on Human Rights

The singer claimed ignorance, then got defensive, about her performance for an African dictator–and is scheduled to sing for another dictator later this month.

Entertainers have been learning the hard way that there are consequences for celebrating dictators. In the past, pop stars could engage in low-risk, high-reward transactions with human rights violators. A couple of songs and a few hours of photo-ops made for a quick and easy way to pull in a small fortune. However, with the advent of smart phones and social media, these collaborations are getting harder to keep under wraps, and often lead to PR meltdowns for performers and unwanted attention for the tyrants who pay them.