New Service Offers Celebrities Googling Skills, Conscience

Life can be tough as a celebrity willing to go almost anywhere, with anyone, for money. How do you know if the guy who paid you six-figures to attend his birthday party in Chechnya is a bloodthirsty madman who tortures for sport? Looking that stuff up—and knowing whether to care about it—is hard. That's why two non-profits are teaming up to answer the question: Is the oligarch I'm privately entertaining for money a monster?

Global Philanthropy Group and Human Rights Watch have jointly announced the new service, which will come free of charge to any celebrity contemplating that private gig in Kazakhstan. From the New York Times:

Global Philanthropy Group, a celebrity-focused advisory firm, and Human Rights Watch on Thursday announced a free, confidential service to help stars and their handlers verify the records of people who want to hire them to appear at birthday parties and other private events.

It's a response to an online brushfire that broke out last week involving Ms. Swank, a two-time Oscar winner. She accepted a reported six-figure payment to travel to Chechnya to attend a lavish ceremony that turned out to be a birthday party for Ramzan A. Kadyrov, the Chechen president whose rule, international critics say, has been marked by abductions and torture.

After suffering public criticism, Ms. Swank apologized and said she would donate her fee to charity.

Other embarrassing celebrity-tyrant mix-ups include when Beyonce performed at Hannibal Qaddafi's birthday party last year, Mariah Carey performed for Mutassim Qaddafi in 2008, and Nelly Furtado sang for the Qaddafis in 2007. The risk of those incidents repeating themselves is pretty low at this point.

Anyway, if your personal assistant is too stupid to Google and you're too emotionally dead to know a despot when you see one, give them a call.

[Image via Shutterstock]