Entertainment behind the scenes
Pop star Madonna was booed during a concert in Bucharest, Romania, on Wednesday night when she urged the Eastern European crowd to be tolerant of Roma, otherwise known as the Gypsy population.
The Roma have recently been the victims of targeted killings in Hungary, and they face discrimination in many parts of Europe.
In an effort to bring attention to that, Madonna took a break from performing during her concert in Bucharest to say, “I’ve been paying attention to news reports, and it’s been brought to my attention that there’s a lot of discrimination against Romanies and Gypsies in general in Eastern Europe, and that makes me feel very sad,” she said. “Because we don’t believe in discrimination against anyone, we believe in freedom and equal rights for everyone, right?”
In reaction, Madonna got boos from the crowd, although some fans also showed support for her comments by applauding. Many Roma in Eastern Europe live below the poverty line, and in parts of Eastern Europe it has been common for some to show their hatred of the Roma by displaying the swastika and other Nazi symbols. Many Eastern Europeans have also bristled at any criticism of the way the Roma are treated in their countries, especially if it comes from someone who is not from that part of the world. As a visitor on tour from the United States, Madonna no doubt ran into that obstacle with the crowd in Bucharest.