Celeb Magazine

Lady Gaga and Katy Perry Banned From China

Posted on the 25 August 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

Lada Gaga and Katy Perry banned by Chinese culture ministry

Lady Gaga. Photo credit: Stephen Carlile via Flickr

Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are among the western artists featured on a blacklist of 100 songs compiled by the Chinese culture ministry. Websites in China have been told to remove the songs by September 15th, “which officials say harm ‘national cultural security,’” reported the BBC.

The list is the latest in a series of Chinese government initiatives designed to crack down on “poor taste and vulgar content,” but while Gaga, Perry, Beyonce et al have received most of the attention in the western media, the majority of the list is made up of songs from Taiwan and Hong Kong. For some songs on the list, such as the Backstreet Boys’ relatively inoffensive 1999 hit I Want It That Way, it’s hard to see what the government’s objection is. Perhaps someone in Beijing just really hates sappy chartpop?

  • Why these songs? Dorian Lynskey at The Guardian was confused too. “Even by its own expansive criteria,” he wrote, “the Chinese blacklist defies logic. Why, for example, target six songs from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album yet not the title track’s LGBT anthem?” Why indeed? There is something inherently absurd in governments banning pop songs, as Lynskey noted. “Pop music censorship tends to be unwittingly comical because censors show so little understanding of the art form,” he argued. “For every song that is banned, hundreds more explicit ones go unmolested.” But there is a serious side to the Chinese government’s efforts. Comparing the 2010 arrest of Tibetan singer Tashi Dhondup for recording “subversive songs” to the latest blacklist, Lynskey concluded that “this risible detour isn’t the censorship that matters. Amusing though it is to see a regime getting flustered about a 12-year-old Backstreet Boys song, China’s real war on free speech, as Tashi Dondhup … can testify, is no joke.”

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