Pop singer Lady Gaga has been added to China’s “banned celebrity list” after her notable meeting with the Dalai Lama. The country’s Communist party released instructions, preventing the ‘Bad Romance’ singer from performing in China. An order to stop the uploading and streaming of her music was also issued.
As pointed out by Hong Kong's newspaper Apple Daily, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) formally made the announcement on television channels and radio stations as well as music download websites on June 27, following Lady Gaga’s meeting with the Buddhist leader at the United States Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, Indiana.
After footage of their conversation was shared on Facebook, critics quickly responded to the video, including fans and Chinese officials, referring to Dalai Lama as a “wolf in monk’s robes” and making comparisons between him and Osama Bin Laden.
"The way the Chinese feel is just like you were shaking hands with [Osama] bin Laden," one critic wrote as a comment to the image the ‘Born This Way’ singer uploaded on Instagram.
"This is proof that she can love and respect a Chinese terrorist. She fundamentally looks down on Chinese fans, and even all Chinese people,” another commented.
When asked for a statement on the said meeting, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said he was not familiar with who Lady Gaga was. However, he criticized the Dalai Lama's actions towards the West.
"The purpose of his visits and activities in other countries is just to promote his proposal for Tibetan independence," Lei reportedly said to AP. "We hope that people from the international community can be fully aware of his true colors and nature."
The award-wining singer spoke with the spiritual leader on June 26, giving them time to discuss "the power of kindness and how to make the world a more compassionate place".
"Thank you for this special day. Science tells us kindness improves health, let's take care of the body of our nation," Lady Gaga wrote on Twitter.
Lady Gaga is not the first celebrity associated with the Dalai Lama to get banned in China. Bon Jovi, Maroon 5, Oasis and Bjork are no longer allowed to perform in the country.
Selena Gomez was recently demanded to cancel her concert after posting statements about the monk leader, who escaped to India in exile following an unsuccessful failed rebellion against the Chinese administration in 1959. A Nobel peace laureate, the Dalai Lama previously sought to separate Tibet from China.
President Barack Obama was previously criticized as well for speaking with Dalai Lama, with which Beijing gave its warning of how such association would bring on adverse consequences for US-China relations.
"Lady Gaga knew how Beijing would react," Bill Bishop, who writes the blogs Sinocism, posted on Twitter. "Good for her to show some courage, unlike most celebrities who are scared of bullying Beijing now."
Lady Gaga has not yet commented on the ban. The clips she has shared on her social media accounts have already raked in over 3 million views.