MDL beast concert hosted by Saudi Arabia has been in news for the wrong reasons as all the influencers present at the event were called out for being ignorant towards the human rights violation in the country.
Saudi Arabia organised a grant music festival, MDL Beast, in the presence of a number of influencers, musicians, models and western celebrities with an aim to achieve its agenda of permitting live concerts, sporting events, welcoming foreign visitors and tourists, as well as relaxing local laws on dress code and freedom. However, all the influencers who were present at the concert have been facing criticism for being part of it.
The celebrities are facing backlash from the people for allegedly ignoring the human rights violation happening in the country. Saudi Arabia is said to be a country of facing great “humanitarian crisis” as it has reportedly become a place of unrest. Several reports on the country’s stance towards women’s rights, the LGBTQ+ community, the killing of the journalist of The Washington Post Jamal Khashoggi and its crackdown on government dissidents has been doing rounds.
While the influencers shared pictures of having a great time at the concert, they were later called out for ignoring the various instances of sexual harassment that were reported by women present at the concert. In the list of influencers who were allegedly paid to create positive content around the concert was Indian actor Sonam Kapoor. She took to her Insta story to share that she was ‘treated with immense respect and love as a Hindu brown female actor’ at the event.
The brand DietPrada also called out the influencers for the same.
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What’s worse than an all white @revolve influencer trip? Cashing big fat checks in exchange for #content creation (aka propaganda) to rehabilitate the image of Saudi Arabia, a country said to be causing “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis”, according to the United Nations. According to anonymous sources, six-figure sums were offered for attendance and geo-tagged posts. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Following the government’s pre-meditated murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi in October 2018 , the arrest of women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul in May 2018, the outing of a gay Saudi journalist and his partner who began receiving death threats from their families (homosexuality is a crime in Saudi Arabia and punishable by death), and countless other human rights abuses, a bevy of supermodels, influencers, celebrities, and musicians convened in Riyadh for the inaugural @mdlbeast . According to @hypebeast , the electronic music festival is “one of the most significant musical events the region has ever seen”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Saudi Arabia has been spending billions to change its image in the west, but this is sure to be the most expensive campaign yet. In a series of Instagram stories posted by transgender model @teddy_quinlivan , it was revealed that fellow model @emrata had turned down the trip, evidently aware of the country’s human rights crisis. “It is very important to me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, freedom of expression and the right to a free press. I hope coming forward on this brings more attention to the injustices happening there”, said Ratajkowski in a statement to Diet Prada. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Unfortunately, not all shared the same sentiments. There are simply too many attendees to name. Dieters, feel free to tag any attendees you know of… just in case they haven’t been reading the news. • #propoganda #jamalkashoggi #humanrights #humanrightsabuse #lgbtq #lgbtqrights #freespeech #journalism #independent #womensrights #mdlbeast #edm #electronicmusic #supermodel #influencer #content #riyadh #emrata #emilyratajkowski #teddyquinlivan #model #celebrity #dj #electronicmusic #musicfestival #wtf #smh #government #corruption #dietprada
Here’s how Twitter reacted to MDL beast harassment:
This is really embarrassing! So many foreigners were invited to attend one of the greatest music festivals in the Middle East and instead of welcoming them, they got sexually harassed.
والله شي يفشل للاسف #MDLBeast pic.twitter.com/g6wUYZnpO1
— هِكتر (@Heckhigh) December 22, 2019
— ▵ (@_4_NA_) December 20, 2019
My friend @pfpicardi just flagged that there’s a group of celebs and influencers on a free image rehab trip to Saudi Arabia..did you know you could NOT go to places that dismember journalists, murder queer people and violently oppress women under the guise of religion?
— Zara Rahim (@ZaraRahim) December 21, 2019
Sexual harassment is not a joke, it should be taken seriously I’m so disappointed about what i saw tbh. I feel so bad for all the girls who attended this festival where they faced sexual harassments and shit.
— Mazen (@MizoAy) December 22, 2019
— Dr.Femini5t🤓💭 (@DrFemini5t) December 22, 2019
Sonam Kapoor’s non-answer in regards to the numerous sexual harassment allegations at #MDLBeast is beyond tone deaf. Claiming that you were “treated with immense respect…” is such a cop out. The south Asian elite refuse to put their “image” on the line when it matters the most
— Ciroc Obama aka the Clout Father (@MacArunyNCheese) December 23, 2019
— هيكاري | هيوندي داي💙 (@_li9ht) December 21, 2019
Sexual harassment is punishable in Saudi law and she can complain about the harasser to the authorities . What else you want us to do stop having fun in our beloveds country or run a way like you to the Qatari terrorist organizations .#MDLBeast
— Xoeliek (@xoeliek) December 22, 2019