Thursday, September 29, 2011

Musicians shilling for tobacco

One of the more shocking aspects of the report I talked about in my previous post were the cigarette-sponsored concerts in Indonesia headlined by artists from North America, the UK, and Australia. (Well, not all that shocking, unfortunately.) I was disappointed to see that a public campaign and petition to get artists to pull out of the tobacco-sponsored Java Rockin' Land festival appear to have failed, and the concerts went off this summer as planned. (Other artists, like Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson, had previously heeded the message and changed course.)

Seriously, bands? You want to advertise for tobacco companies? You want to be part of getting kids hooked on smoking? You're OK with that suffering on your conscience? A while back I posted about the Sun City campaign by Artists United Against Apartheid,* in which musicians joined together to refuse to play a resort area in apartheid South Africa and produced an album sold to raise funds for the anti-apartheid cause. If the Cranberries and others are so shameless as to participate in this exercise in irresponsibility, other artists should come together to criticize these concerts and state publicly that they themselves would and will not participate.

*It appears the video has since been removed.

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