Why Are Scott Disick, Irina Shayk, and More Celebs Being Slammed for Attending the MDL Beast Festival in Saudi Arabia?
Although documenting time in exotic locations is a norm for many celebrities, the stars who attended this particular festival are now being faced with a ton of backlash.
Major celebrities and influencers were at the MDL Beast Festival
Many famous faces came together in Saudi Arabia to attend and promote the MDL Beast Festival, which ran from Dec. 19 to Dec. 21. The official website described the event as “a three day festival bringing together the best in electronic music, performing arts and culinary craft.”
The famous attendees included Scott Disick, Sofia Richie, Irina Shayk, Winnie Harlow, Joan Smalls, Jourdan Dunn, Elsa Hosk, Ryan Phillippe, Luka Sabbat, Wilmer Valderrama, and many more.
During their weekend in Saudi Arabia, many celebrities documented their trip with posts mentioning the festival.
While this didn’t seem like a big deal to some people, others had a huge problem with these stars promoting a festival that took place in a country that has a history of denying its citizens basic human rights.
Instagram account Diet Prada dragged celebrities for attending the festival and alleged that the Saudi Arabian government might have paid them to “positively promote travel and events” as a way to “rehabilitate the image” of the country. With their social media posts, the celebrities did paint Saudi Arabia as fun and exciting.
Saudi Arabia is known for its many injustices
Once fans saw these celebrities trying to make Saudi Arabia seem like an enjoyable place to visit, many of them took to social media to point out the many injustices that are happening there.
From sexual harassment and crimes against women to using capital punishment against the LGBTQ community and prohibiting free speech, people noted that Saudi Arabia is a very controversial place.
There were some celebrities who skipped the event due to their support for human rights.
Model Emily Ratajkowski recently took to Twitter to address her decision not to attend the MDL Beast Festival. “I have always wanted to visit Saudi Arabia, but when a recent opportunity came to me involving making and promoting an appearance there, I had to decline,” she wrote. “It is very important to me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, freedom of expression and the right to a free press. I hope coming forward on this brings more attention to the injustices happening there.”
According to E! News, Martha Hunt also declined her invite to the festival but has yet to share her reason for not attending.