Madonna in concert. (pic: Madonna.com)
Superstar Madonna has been booed by a concert audience in Romania after she called for an end to discrimination against gypsies and gays in the region.
The singer was performing in the Romanian capital Bucharest as part of her record-breaking Sticky & Sweet tour on Wednesday when she made the statement.
“I’ve never been to Romania before and I am happy to be here. But I found out that there is a lot of discrimination against gypsies in Eastern Europe and that makes me very sad, especially because we believe in acceptance. Gypsies, homosexuals, people that are different; everyone must be treated the same. Don’t forget that,” she said.
Instead of applause, Madonna was booed by members of the 60,000-strong audience. She ignored this and continued with the performance.
According to the Romanian Times there are 500,000 gypsies officially registered in Romania, although some say there could be as many as 2 million. They are described as the country’s most socially and economically disadvantaged minority.
While homosexuality is legal in Romania and discrimination against gays and lesbian is banned, the country remains socially conservative, especially in more rural areas. Gay Pride events are often the subject of anti-gay demonstrations and sometimes violent opposition.
A statement issued later by the singer’s representative said: “Madonna has been touring with a phenomenal troupe of Roma musicians who made her aware of the discrimination toward them in several countries so she felt compelled to make a brief statement. She will not be issuing a further statement.”