Nia Vardalos wrote, produced and starred in this Funny or Die video about agents desperate to book a celebrity to fete the leader of a repressive regime. At her side is husband and actor Ian Gomez, and together they harass Eric Stonestreet, Courtney Cox and Jenna Elfman to appear at bashes for Kim Jong Il of North Korea and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. The video was published a week ago, and, since then, it looks like the load has gotten a little bit lighter for these morally questionable entertainment agents.
Vardalos is poking fun at the recent rash of celebs who make paid appearances at personal functions -- only to discover that the very nice gentleman to whom they wished "Happy Birthday" is actually a terrible tyrant.
Actress Hilary Swank took some heat this year for appearing at the side of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov during his 35th birthday celebration in October. Kadyrov is accused of torturing dissidents and killing political rivals, among other things. In response, Swank fired her longtime manager and two staffers at the talent agency CAA for booking the appearance, reports The Independent. She pleaded ignorance, but also issued an apology and pledged to donate her earnings to human rights groups, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This year, WikiLeaks documents revealed that Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Nelly Furtado had performed for various members of the now-deposed Gaddafi family in Libya. Carey expressed regret about the performance, while Beyonce and Furtado announced that they were donating their earnings to various charities.
For more celebrities who've partied hard with dictators, check out E! Online.