David Beckham's first Qatar commercial attracts widespread criticism
The former football star is reportedly making £15 million a year working with the nation
David Beckham's first commercial for World Cup hosts Qatar has attracted widespread condemnation.
The former Manchester United and England star gushed about the nation in the slick new advert, riding a motorbike at one point through Doha, the capital city.
Beckham has been urged by Amnesty International to use his "unique worldwide profile" to raise awareness around worker standards.
But instead he promoted the country as an "incredible place to spend a few days on a stopover", saying the "modern and traditional fuse create something really special" and declaring it "one of the best spice markets that I have ever been to."
Qatar Tourism launches marketing campaign featuring #DavidBeckham#Qatar pic.twitter.com/eFmNMXMp90
— The Peninsula Qatar (@PeninsulaQatar) August 27, 2022
The ad has attracted widespread backlash due to the country's questionable human rights record.
Qatar's treatment of migrant workers has been in the spotlight since the country was awarded the right to host the 2022 finals back in 2010.
It has also been called out over its treatment of gay people, who can face the death penalty under Sharia law, and unmarried women, who are not allowed to leave the country without their father’s permission.
.@danwootton: David Beckham cares about one thing: The size of his bulging wallethttps://t.co/RK4cwdBZ7D pic.twitter.com/5jyscWBBHZ
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) August 31, 2022
Posting on Twitter, Jamie Jenkins pointed out the irony of Beckham fronting the ad campaign having previously showed his support for the LGBTQIA+ cause in the past.
🤡 David Beckham historically posting the Rainbow Flag on Instagram.
💥 Now the face of Qatar - where homosexuality comes with punishment of up to 3 years in prison and a fine and the possibility of death penalty for Muslims
Not that he needs the cash but £10m in the bank helps pic.twitter.com/eyxdnta7ah
— Jamie Jenkins (@statsjamie) August 30, 2022
Another person question whether Qatar has earned the right to be called "perfection".
In a place where it’s illegal to be gay, and women have to be chaperoned by men, am really not sure I would call the place perfection.
Oh and that’s before we talk about the thousands of slaves who have died building FIFA’s stadiums. https://t.co/KjodBZMYDz
— Ellie (@ElunedAnderson) August 31, 2022
While others said he might have been scraping the barrel to find good things to say about it.
If the best things that you can find to say about an entire country in a minute include "it's one of the best spice markets I've ever been to" and "it really is an incredible place to spend a few days on a stopover", I'm inclined to think that it might actually be a bit shit. https://t.co/39KsbZBudv
— Alfie | HITC Sevens (@HITCSevens) August 31, 2022