A massive pro-democracy concert sponsored by Pepsi Co. to take place in the troubled nation of Ukraine next month may be cancelled owing to protests by the government over statements by the concert’s headliner, Britney Spears.
In an appearance on NBC’s Tonight Show, Spears was asked by host Jay Leno what she hoped the concert would accomplish. She said she hoped the youth of Ukraine would realize that “their democracy is being stolen” and would “get together and do something about it.”
Mr. Leno asked her if she meant that they should demand a recount of the votes or a new election, and Ms. Spears replied that “they should do whatever it takes. What good is a new election if it’s only going to be as rigged as the first one? What good is a recount if the same people are doing the counting? Freedom is a precious thing,” she said, “and once you lose it, it’s gone.”
Doffing her Pepsi ballcap, she said that US officials had been unsuccessful in having the fraudulent results of the election overturned and that now it was “up to the kids” to “take back their democracy.” She said that, while it “might be scary” to “go up against the police and the government,” losing their freedom to choose their leaders was “even scarier.”
NBC was immediately besieged with calls from the Ukraine and Russian governments protesting Ms. Spears apparent instigation of widespread and bloody violence. While spokeswomen from NBC and Pepsi Co. insisted that the First Amendment prevented them from censoring the political opinions of late night talk show guests, for the time being, plans for the upcoming Kiev concert are “on hold.”