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The Real Reason Spider-Man's Voice Actor Called Out Justin Bieber

Yuri Lowenthal, the prolific voice actor well-known for his portrayal of Spider-Man in the most recent Marvel games developed by Insomniac, posted a tweet calling for Bieber to not perform in Saudi Arabia on December 5. 

"Please cancel your 12/5 performance in Saudi Arabia, @JustinBieber... Don't perform for a dictator who imprisons women's rights activists, murders journalists & kills Yemeni children. It's not worth the money. #WTFJustin #JustinDontGo," Lowenthal's tweet reads.

As reported by TheGamer, Bieber's performance, which has happened since Lowenthal's tweet, took place in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where the recent Formula One Grand Prix also took place. These events, along with other affairs like 2020's WWE Super Showdown and the release of Marvel's "Black Panther" in theaters, are part of an effort to make both Jeddah and the country as a whole more of a tourist destination, which in turn is meant to diversify the country's sources of income. 

Freedom Forward, an organization focused on ending US alliances with non-democratic governments, shared Lowenthal's tweet, giving it an extra boost in the mainstream eye. Ultimately, however, Bieber performed the concert, probably unaware that the video game version of Spider-Man was mad at him.

Reasons why performing in Saudi Arabia is controversial but gaining in popularity

There are a number of reasons why Lowenthal would implore Bieber to not perform in Saudi Arabia, which clash with some of the reasons why musicians and other entertainers have been performing there. As reported by TheGamer, Saudi Arabia has made some progress in recent years under the more progressive leadership of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud's rule, which has made more entertainers comfortable with entering the country. For instance, women have gained a number of new rights under the recent regime, including the right to drive and travel without a male guardian.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has an authoritarian government and continues to fail on multiple human rights fronts. The crown prince was responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (via the Washington Post). Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch's 2020 report on Saudi Arabia for 2020 noted the country's continued airstrikes on Yemen by the country. The report also found that women in the country were regularly arrested for peaceful activism, with the courts regularly seeking the death penalty. These factors and more have led many entertainers to not only refuse to perform in the country, but to try and confirm others to not perform there as well.

Beiber has yet to respond to Lowenthal's tweet.