Kelly Clarkson concert ‘banned’ by cleric because of smoking tie-up

May 2010

Live events industry

Muslim organization Muhammadiyah has forbidden the upcoming Jakarta concert by US entertainer Kelly Clarkson because it promotes smoking. Yanuar Ilyas, head of the fatwa department at Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second largest Muslim organization, said as it had previously declared smoking haram (forbidden), all things related to it were also forbidden, adding that it was not necessary to issue a new fatwa (religious edict). “We do not need to put another fatwa on a thing that is already clear,” Yanuar told the Jakarta Globe. The ban will have little impact on the concert actually going ahead, however, with the vast majority of religious rulings ignored. A spokeswoman for promoters JAVA Musikindo said they were discussing the controversy and were expecting to make a statement soon. Promoter Adrie Subono tweeted that “2,513 of my hairs fell out, I have a headache.” The controversy has also had an impact in the USA where the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said “If Kelly Clarkson goes ahead with the concert, she is by choice being a spokesman for the tobacco industry and helping them to market to children”.  In 2008, Alicia Keys was forced to “apologise for any misleading advertising initially associated with the show” after advertisements for A Mild cigarettes appeared on promotional billboards and posters for her concert. Clarkson has yet to comment on the controversy.

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