The Belgian branch of human rights organisation Amnesty International has publicly apologised to Godfather of punk Iggy Pop for featuring his image in a controversial new anti-torture campaign without his permission.
The original advertisement’s image featured the singer’s bloodied and beaten face, accompanied by the quote: “The future of rock & roll is Justin Bieber“. The ad quickly went viral with its message, “Torture a man, and he will tell you anything.” The campaign also featured the Dalai Lama and Karl Lagerfeld in similar predicaments.
However, the human rights organisation has admitted it did not obtain Iggy Pop’s permission before using his image in their campaign. Amnesty has now issued a formal apology and explanation, which Pop shared via Twitter.
“To generate awareness about our campaign against torture, Amnesty International Belgium French speaking section used an image of Iggy Pop without his authorization,” it begins. “Even though we acted in good faith, we would like to apologise to Iggy Pop for having done so.”
“The overall goal of this campaign is to try to influence people’s ideas on the use of torture. We illustrate this reality with the message that a man who is tortured will say anything in order to escape this awfulness, using provocative images and statements to attract public attention,” it continues.
“We would therefore also like to make it clear that the statement attributed to Iggy Pop that he believes Justin Bieber is the future of rock and roll does not represent Iggy Pop’s personal opinion but was part of the creative process for this campaign and was intended to be ironic. The image has been removed.”
Amnesty International said it has also removed the image of the Dalai Lama. “Although the Dalai Lama was not the target of the campaign, we understand that this image has caused particular concern in some quarters,” said the organisation. Readers can check all three images below.
Amnesty Apologises To Iggy Pop For Justin Bieber "Torture" Ad - Music Feeds
Most of you have seen the image that had been circulating since last week. Here is more about it: http://t.co/WDGhajjsrE
— Iggy Pop (@IggyPop) June 24, 2014