Hilary Swank and Jean-Claude Van Damme have found themselves in some hot water after attending the 35th birthday party of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who Human Rights Watch has said presides over a regime responsible for kidnappings, torture, and executions, among other human rights abuses. From The Hollywood Reporter:
According to the Human Rights Foundation, Jean-Claude Van Damme stood on stage and said, “I love you Mr. Kadyrov” while Swank said she was honored to be in Grozny and wished Kadyrov a “Happy Birthday.” After Swank spoke, British violinist Vanessa-Mae performed for a reported half a million dollars. There were fireworks and performances by acrobats. The celebration was held on a floating stage on the River Sunzha; portraits of Kadyrov were displayed throughout the city.
According to one talent rep, stars are paid in the six figures to attend such events. Their perks routinely include private jets and first-class hotel suites.
Okay, first and foremost, allow me to clear up a common misconception and state that I am FIRMLY against kidnapping and murdering innocent people. Like, all the way. Maybe that puts me outside your precious “mainstream,” but I don’t care. It’s just a stand a have to take.
Second of all, what the butt, you guys. After a significant amount of thought, I’ve narrowed the most important non-murdery parts of the story to these five issues:
1) Being a celebrity looks super awesome. Six figures to go to some dude’s birthday party? OH HELL YES. I love birthday parties. Cake, booze, food, the whole nine. And you want to pay me double the U.S. median income to show up and say “I love you”? Done. Sign me up. I bet they got paid in brown burlap sacks with dollar signs on them that were full of gold coins.
2) JESUS CHRIST JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME WENT ON STAGE AND SAID “I LOVE YOU” TO A WAR CRIMINAL.
3) What in the hell do you think Hilary Swank and JCVD talked about at the party? HILARY: “I won an Oscar for my part in a dramatic tale about gender confusion and internal struggle.” JCVD: “I kicked terrorists in the neck for most of the 80s and 90s.” Oh, to be a fly on the wall.
4) Really? Hilary Swank and Jean-Claude Van Damme? How far down the list do you think this guy went before he got RSVPs from these two? I picture him first making out his list and being like, “Okay, so I want Brad and Angelina, George Clooney, Sting, and Lady Gaga.” Then after they shoot him down he goes, “All right, let’s try Jonah Hill, the busty lady from ‘Modern Family,’ and Slash.” This progresses down the celebrity hierarchy until he finally gets confirmation from these two and shouts, “Thank god. Cancel Lou Bega!”
5) Remember when JCVD was in Street Fighter and the soundtrack featured a song by MC Hammer and Deion Sanders, and he made a cameo in the music video? I do.