Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift were Wal-Mart employees for a day, but you can bet they made more than minimum wage without health benefits. The duo and other stars were paid to perform at the retail giant’s annual shareholder meeting.
The 14,000 workers and investors in the audience wore red tee-shirts, waved white towels and cheered loudly while Justin played master of ceremonies.
It resembled a religious revival or one of those North Korean pep rallies. But, of course it wasn’t. The only question was, what were Timberlake and Swift doing there? Have they no social conscience?
Wal-Mart has produced good returns for shareholders, but it’s track record toward its employees has been, well, let’s just say spotty.
From sex discrimination lawsuits, to unfair labor practices, to summarily firing any employee who breathes the word “union,” the giant company has had some bad press over the years. Most recently, it was accused of bribing Mexican officials to clear the way for new stores there.
In any event, Justin was a slick host. “It’s amazing to me how much time and attention Wal-Mart spends thinking about the customers. So I thought how cool would it be if I found in Fayetteville a Wal-Mart customer so I could interview them,” he said.
With that, out wandered Swift. “My name is Taylor, I’m from Nashville. I’m a singer.”
“Ha, whatever,” Justin replied.
Swift informed him she also had six Grammys. “Ok….waaaaitress,” Justin countered.
After a shtick about shopping at Wal-Mart, she sang a song.
But that’s not all, Timberlake also introduced performances by Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Juanes and the Zac Brown Band.
Check his Swift interview out below. Unfortunately, her record label blocked her performance.