American pop star Lady Gaga is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of artists banned by China for their meetings with the Dalai Lama or stances on Tibet, reported The Guardian on 28 June 2016.
The singer met with the Dalai Lama on 26 June 2016 at the US Conference of Mayors for approximately 20 minutes and discussed topics including mental health, yoga and meditation. A video of the meeting was posted on the singer’s Facebook page.
China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television immediate reaction on 27 June 2016 to the meeting was to blacklist the singer, banning her from television and radio, as well as banning her music from being downloaded online, reported International Business Times on 28 June 2016.
The Guardian reported that the administration’s “important instruction” also ordered websites and media organisations to stop uploading and distributing Lady Gaga content, and for news outlets in various media to condemn the meeting.
British singer denied visa
In another recent incident, British singer Jane Birkin was denied a visa from the Chinese embassy in Paris to travel for a scheduled performanceon 9 July 2016 in Shanghai, accompanied by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, reported The Guardian on 2 July 2016.
The embassy gave no official reason or statement on the matter, but a source of the newspaper said the singer was allegedly denied the visa because of her “commitment to fighting human rights abuses”. Birkin is a member of Amnesty International and the International Human Rights Federation.
However, Chinese newspaper Global Times reported on 5 July 2016 that the visa refusal was related to the singer’s participation in a 2008 Tibetan independence protest held in Paris during the Summer Olympics.
Other musicians banned
This is not the first time Chinese authorities have banned musicians from performing due to their ties with the Tibetan monk or participation in Tibet-related events.
In late April 2016, Chinese authorities banned another US pop star, Selena Gomez, from performing two dates in the country due to photos of her with the Dalai Lama that were posted on her social media profiles in 2014.
In 2015 US rock band Bon Jovi was banned for performing a show in Taiwan in 2010 in front of a backdrop that pictured the Dalai Lama. Earlier that year, US pop group Maroon 5 was also banned allegedly because a band member tweeted a happy birthday message to the Dalai Lama. And in 2009 the British rock group Oasis was banned due to one of the member’s performance at a Free Tibet concert in New York City in 1997.
Photo from artist’s web site
» Global Times – 5 July 2016:
Jane Birkin cancels orchestra concert
» The Guardian – 2 July 2016:
Jane Birkin cancels Shanghai concert after China refuses to issue her a visa
» NBC – 29 June 2016:
Lady Gaga banned from China following Dalai Lama meeting: Report
» The Guardian – 28 June 2016:
China ‘bans Lady Gaga’ after Dalai Lama meeting
» International Business Times – 28 June 2016:
Lady Gaga’s China ban: How and why the Chinese government censors music stars
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