AceShowbiz - Calvin Harris is receiving a slew of warnings ahead of his upcoming performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Scottish DJ is urged by LGBTQ activists to pull out of his gig in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are illegal.
The 38-year-old DJ is scheduled to perform on Saturday, December 10 as the headline act at the FIFA Fan Fest. The event will kick off on Tuesday, November 22 at Doha's AL Bidda Park and will feature other musicians, including Diplo, Canadian/Morroccan singer Nora Fatehi, Trinidad Cardona and Nigerian singer/songwriter Kizz Daniel.
Of his upcoming gig, Calvin, who will close out the event, said in a statement, "I'm so excited to be playing for football fans from all over the world at this year's FIFA Fan Festival." In the meantime, Diplo, who's set to open the festival on November 22, chimed in, "I've been really fortunate to travel all over the world and experience different cultures through music. Wherever I am, Jamaica, Spain, England, China, South Africa, etc., football is a social constant. Seeing so many fans from all over the world in one place, the FIFA Fan Festival is just awesome. Really looking forward to it!"
Though so, Calvin was called out to step back from his upcoming gig in Qatar. Among those calling for him to back out is veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. The 70-year-old man stated, "I'm a huge Calvin Harris fan so I feel incredibly disappointed that he's performing in a country where women, LGBT+ people and migrant workers are treated as second-class citizens."
"He's been bought by the Qataris like other big-name stars such as David Beckham and Robbie Williams," Peter added. "They've sold their souls and principles for million-pound deals, putting profits before principles."
Peter went on saying, "It's a slap in the face to Qataris who suffer repression at the hands of the regime." He then concluded his statement, "I urge Harris and other stars to search their conscience, pull out from the Qatar deal and speak up for human rights."
Other LGBTQ activists, meanwhile, shared their thoughts on Twitter. "Seriously???? @CalvinHarris is gonna perform for a HOMOPHOBIC, MISOGYNISTIC and RACIST country such as QATAR? This country sees our people as nothing more than slaves and you are gonna perform for #FIFAWorldCup?" one person wrote. Another disappointed fan posted, "Celebrities say they support the LGBT but actions like these speak louder… to take money stain with the tears and blood of the lgbt of Qatar."
The prestigious soccer event is said to have struggled to attract artists to perform at the occasion due to Qatar's controversial stance on human rights, including the mistreatment and deaths of migrant workers and the fact that same-sex relationships are illegal.
Dua stated that she's never "been involved in any negotiation to perform." In her statement, the "Levitating" hitmaker stressed that she would love to visit Qatar only if "it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup."
Meanwhile, a source close to Shakira clarified that the "Waka Waka" hitmaker was "never in talks" to perform at the opening ceremony. As for Rod, he was offered a $1 million deal to perform in Qatar but turned it down because of the state's human rights record.
Alicia, for her part, pulled out of her World Cup performance after getting into an alleged "fight" with the event's choreographer, Barbarana Pons. While speaking on Catalan radio station RAC1, Barbarana said Alicia "resigned at the last minute" without clarification. Barbarana alleged that the 41-year-old artist's decision came as a result of creative differences rather than the country's human rights controversies.