E! News Calls JLO’s Celia Cruz Tribute “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” and Then Deletes Tweet

First we had to defend Pitbull (first time for us) and now we have to defend JLO? Is this Bizarro Day at Latino Rebels?


Last night JLO paid tribute to Celia Cruz at the AMAs.

Guess that didn’t sit too well with people as well, who also questioned JLO’s “Americaness” on Twitter. Here’s the scoop, via NBC Latino’s Nina Terrero:

E! News added to the criticism of Lopez’s performance – never mind that the 44-year-old’s tribute was nearly flawless— tweeting “Nice to see they’re previewing the ‘Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights’ musical at the #AMAs tonight.”

Terrero’s piece then goes on to say that Latino Twitter took E! News to task.


Terrero then added this, “E! News has yet to respond to NBC Latino’s request for comment regarding the tweet, which has since been deleted.”

Of course they aren’t commenting, because E! News is clueless.

Seriously, defending BOTH Pitbull and JLo on the same day? Historic day for LR.

Jennifer Lopez Responds to Criticism of Singing “Happy Birthday” to Turkmenistan President

Who knew that a simple “Happy Birthday” song would cause an international headache for Jennifer Lopez? But it did. Saturday, Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow at an event hosted by the China National Petroleum Corp. By Sunday, the Human Rights Foundation was sharing this email online:


Jennifer Lopez Celebrates Turkmenistan’s Dictator; Sings for Human Rights Violator-in-Chief Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov

AVAZA, TURKMENISTAN (June 30, 2013)—American pop singer Jennifer Lopez headlined yesterday’s 56th birthday celebration of the President of the Republic of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who has ruled the country with an iron fist since 2006. His family and friends exert complete control over politics, economics, and society, and his cult of personality is extreme.

“Lopez obviously has the right to earn a living performing for the dictator of her choice and his circle of cronies, but her actions utterly destroy the carefully-crafted message she has cultivated with her prior involvement with Amnesty International’s programs in Mexico aimed at curbing violence against women,” said Human Rights Foundation (HRF) president Thor Halvorssen. “What is the next stop on her tour, Syria? The dictator of Kazakhstan’s birthday is July 6, maybe she will also pay him a visit?” Halvorssen asked.

Freedom House ranks the Berdymukhamedov dictatorship as one of the nine “worst of the worst“; Transparency international ranks it as a bottom-seven country in their Corruption Perception Index; Reporters Without Borders classifies him as a “predator of press freedom” and ranks Turkmenistan as the world’s third-worst place for journalists, between Syria, North Korea, and Eritrea; HRF considers it one of the world’s most totalitarian regimes. Berdymukhamedov was re-elected with 97% of the vote in 2012. The vote was so obviously fraudulent that the OSCE declined to even send observers.

Lopez, whose management and back-up singers were enthusiastically tweeting their presence in Turkmenistan, are surely ignorant that social networks like Twitter and Facebook are banned, and the country’s only ISP is controlled by the regime. The government relies heavily on surveillance of telephone and electronic communications. Political opposition to the government is considered treason, and torture is widespread. Homosexuality is illegal.

Lopez’s performance for this government included a concert as well as a special “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” performance where she donned regional garb. HRF has previously publicized similar celebrity endorsements of dictators ranging from Hilary Swank’s disastrous celebration of Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov’s birthday to Julio Iglesias’s recent visit to Equatorial Guinea to perform in a production of the Obiang family that has ruled the African country for more than 40 years. According to sources inside her own production team, Lopez received a seven-figure payment for her presence routed through a Chinese corporation.

“It is astonishing, given the public humiliation endured by Hilary Swank just recently, that Lopez’s management and the singer herself would be so obtuse and insensitive to human rights concerns,” said Halvorssen. Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, Beyoncé and 50 Cent were disgraced after singing for Muammar Gaddafi’s family and earning millions of dollars for it. All of these performers were shamed into donating their performance fees for having entertained dictators.

HRF is a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that protects and promotes human rights globally, with an expertise in the Americas. We believe that all human beings are entitled to freedom of self-determination, freedom from tyranny, the rights to speak freely, to associate with those of like mind, and to leave and enter their countries. Individuals in a free society must be accorded equal treatment and due process under law, and must have the opportunity to participate in the governments of their countries; HRF’s ideals likewise find expression in the conviction that all human beings have the right to be free from arbitrary detainment or exile and from interference and coercion in matters of conscience. HRF does not support nor condone violence. HRF’s International Council includes former prisoners of conscience George Ayittey, Vladimir Bukovsky, Palden Gyatso, Garry Kasparov, Mutabar Tadjibaeva, Ramón J. Velásquez, Elie Wiesel, and Harry Wu.


JLo’s camp went into damage control, sharing the following statement to the press:

Jennifer Lopez and several other artists were invited and performed at a private corporate event for the China National Petroleum Corporation that was presented to their local executives in Turkmenistan.

This was not a government sponsored event or political in nature. The event was vetted by her representatives, had there been knowledge of human right issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended.

The China National Petroleum Corporation made a last minute ‘birthday greeting’ request prior to Jennifer taking the stage. This was not stipulated in her contract but she graciously obliged the China National Petroleum Corporation request.

Not a good few days for Jenny. She might need better “vetters.”

Is “¡Q’VIVA! The Chosen” a Sign of Better Things to Come for “LATINO” Programming?

It is what many are talking about, and not because we see JLO and Marc Anthony sharing a show together. It is "¡Q'VIVA! The Chosen" a new American-Idol style show that looks for top talent all over Latin America. The show is now available to US audiences, both on Univision and FOX.

What is the show about? Let them tell you:

¡Q’VIVA! The Chosen goes straight to the core and touches the heart of the people of Latin America, as it discovers its most authentic, genuine and most talented entertainers, and unites them in one amazing show.

Leading the journey to find The Chosen Ones are Creator and Executive Producer Simon Fuller, along with the iconic performers, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, and superstar director/choreographer, Jamie King. Between them, they will travel to 21 different Latin American countries and embark on a journey of a lifetime in search of ‘The Chosen’.

This promises to be the most remarkable search and the most extraordinary & authentic Latin American live event in history featuring world-class singers, musicians, dancers, acrobats and other extraordinary performers. ¡Q’VIVA! The Chosen gives the people of Latin America a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase their undiscovered talent, while uniting on one stage, under one banner.

At a time when mainstream networks have been on the Latino Stereotype Bandwagon for years, here's hoping that ¡Q'VIVA! is a start. Sure, it might not be perfect, but it is a start of things to come.

JLo and PitBull Song Sounds a Bit Familiar, No? It’s the Freaking Lambada Again!

Are you kidding us, JLo and Pitbull? We know you have a great hit in ON THE FLOOR, but we knew something was up. That opening melody and chorus sounds a bit familiar, and then boom, it hit us: IT’S THE FREAKING LAMBADA! Yes, the Latino dance craze of 1990 is back. Ok, we admit, we LOVE this song, but lost a bit of respect for JLo and Pitbull for their lack of orginality.

Nonetheless, a minor point since all JLo needs to do for us is dance and look amazing. Yes, Marc Anthony, you are one lucky mofo.

And for those who remember the Lambada, here is a video for you!