Kelly Clarkson refuses to cancel concert over smoking sponsor
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/21/2010
Kelly Clarkson claims she had no knowledge that a cigarette company is sponsoring and promoting her upcoming concert in Indonesia but added that terminating the sponsorship or canceling the show are apparently not options.
"My morning began with finding out that I am all over billboards, tv ads, and other media formats along side a tobacco company who unbeknownst to me is sponsoring my Jakarta date on my current tour. I was not made aware of this and am in no way an advocate or an ambassador for youth smoking. I'm not even a smoker, nor have I ever been," wrote the original American Idol champ in a Wednesday post to her personal blog.
"Unfortunately, my only option at this point was to cancel the show in order to stop the sponsorship. However, I can't justify penalizing my fans for someone else's oversight. This is a lose-lose situation for me and I am not happy about it but the damage has been done and I refuse to cancel on my fans."
Clarkson began receiving heat over the Jakarta concert, which is currently slated to be held April 29, when anti-smoking advocates learned it was sponsored and promoted by tobacco company PT Djarum under its cigarette brand LA Lights.
While U.S. federal law bans tobacco companies from sponsoring entertainment and sporting events, that is not the case in other countries such as Indonesia -- and posters promoting the concert feature Clarkson's image under LA Lights branding.
"If Kelly Clarkson goes ahead with the concert, she is by choice being a spokesman for the tobacco industry and helping them to market to children," said Matt Myers, president of the U.S.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in a statement earlier this week.
"She has the power now to turn this situation around and to send a clear message to Indonesian young people and, frankly, to the young people of the world."
However Clarkson claims she will go ahead with the concert and does not agree with how she has landed in the middle of the controversy surrounding its sponsorship.
"I think the hardest part of situations like this is getting personally attacked for something I was completely unaware of and being used as some kind of political pawn," she wrote on her blog.