Hilary Swank has apologized for attending an event this month with Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader who is accused of murder, torture and abductions by human rights groups. The appearance netted her a $1.5 million paycheck.
According to RadarOnline the Academy Award winner attended the opening of a residential and commercial complex in Grozny City on October 5, and according to her rep she decided to attend the opening “because the construction project was described to her as a symbol of hope for the people of Chechnya, a region that had been devastated by war. Specifically, she was advised that the project was instrumental in the creation of jobs and other opportunities for the people of Chechnya.”
Hilary says that she was unaware of the allegations made by human rights groups about the Chechen president’s alleged atrocities. But the Human Rights Foundation said they sent Swank a letter in September detailing Kadyrov’s past crimes trying to dissuade her from attending the event, but never received a response.
Maybe she switched over to a P.O. Box?
“I deeply regret attending this event, which has thrown into question my long and deeply-held commitment to the protection of human rights,” Swank said in a statement to RadarOnline.com. “I would never intentionally do anything that raised doubts about such commitment. I will continue to donate my time and my financial resources not only to the charities with which I am currently affiliated, but also those dedicated to the preservation of human rights.”
Here is the thing, who gets invitations to attend events in Chechnya? Is that on anyone's radar screen? Gee, I have been meaning to get some R&R in the French countryside, but this invitation to attend a reception in a war torn country is just too enticing. Why swill white wine and nosh on petit fours and baguettes when you can stay in a bullet-ridden hotel along an armed highway and eat sheep's eyeballs?
Chechnya is on the "Worst of the Worst" list of most repressive societies in the world. You know who else is on that list? Burma, North Korea, and China's Tibet.
But I suppose when you are in between pictures and you need some easy cash that a cool $1.5 million seems doable. Why do some research on the country you are visiting, the participants, or the strange fact that an excessively poor country can fork over plenty of dough so you (an actress) can attend and wish them well? Who has time for that? Cha-ching is more important, I guess.
Why would you fly across the world? Cha-ching, my friends.
Can you imagine all the invitations these celebrities must get? Couple that with their extreme narcissism and disinterest in what is going on in the world. Please attend this brothel opening in Venezuela. The guest speaker is a fellow named Hugo Chavez. An easy $750,000 for you if you are willing to wear a "Communism is Awesome" t-shirt. Do you know how many of them probably think communism is what happens when a community has a bake sale? Seriously.
Kate Casey is a Pop Culture Lover. PR Pro. New mom. Comedy nerd. Celebrity gossip fan. Follow her on Twitter @KateCasey