The very famous singer Jennifer Lopez has been drawn into the ongoing feud between three U.S.-based airlines and three Middle Eastern carriers.
Delta, United and American airlines have accused Qatar, Etihad and Emirates of competing unfairly by accepting subsidies from their oil-rich owners, the nations of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. carriers have urged the federal government to investigate the charges, which Qatar, Etihad and Emirates reject.
Lopez, a former judge on the popular television series “American Idol,” was pulled into the feud last week when she performed at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre to celebrate the launch of a new Qatar route from Atlanta to Doha, the capital of Qatar.
The Assn. of Flight Attendants, which has aligned with Delta, United and American, wrote Lopez urging her to cancel her performance, saying the nation of Qatar has a poor human rights record and jails its citizens for being gay or transgender.
Despite a small protest outside the theater, Lopez’s performance went as scheduled.
Meanwhile, Delta said it would end its 20-year-long sponsorship of the Fox Theatre when its current contract ends next year because the theater hosted the event with “an airline proven to engage in business practices that harm U.S. aviation jobs and violate basic human rights.”
The Fox Theatre issued a statement saying it needs the revenue from events like the Lopez performance to keep its doors open.
“As we are not in tune with the industry politics of our sponsors, we are disheartened to learn that Delta has chosen to penalize the Fox Theatre for our decision to rent the venue to another airline,” the statement said.