Sunday, July 25, 2021

ELTON JOHN SURPRISES CHINESE OFFICIALS AT CONCERT — BACKS DISSIDENT

November 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

After years of the entertainment industry’s look-the-other-way approach to China’s human-rights transgressions, singer Elton John took the matter by the throat during a concert in Beijing Sunday night, dedicating his performance to Ai Weiwei, the internationally acclaimed sculptor who is barred from leaving China because of his longstanding criticism of the Chinese government’s censorship of the arts. (He was jailed for 81 days last year, ostensibly for “tax evasion,” although human rights organizations contend that his incarceration had more to do with his criticism of the Communist Party than with taxes.) Communist Party leaders and their families were reportedly in John’s audience. Ai was introduced to John shortly before Sunday night’s concert. “I super like him” he tweeted afterwards. A photo of the two posted on a fan’s Facebook page quickly went viral. Britain’s Sky News said that the Chinese media reported on the show but did not mention the singer’s remark about Ai.