Katy Perry will not be able to perform at Victoria’s Secret fashion show in Shanghai, China after the Chinese government reportedly denied her a visa.
The singer was originally scheduled to sing at the fashion show at the end of November. Perry earned the ire of many Chinese back in 2015 when she wore the Taiwanese flag during a performance at her concert in Taiwan, reports Page Six, which cited sources privy to the event.
In another performance during the same show, Perry also wore a sunflower dress which was largely perceived as a reference to Taiwan’s “Sunflower Revolution”. The movement, which initiated a fight for self-determination, became prominent in 2014.
“She was initially granted a visa to perform at the VS show in Shanghai, then Chinese officials changed their minds and yanked her visa,” a source told Page Six. “For every artist who wants to perform in China, officials comb through their social-media and press reports to see if they have done anything deemed to be offensive to the country. Maroon 5 was banned a few years ago because one band member wished the Dalai Lama happy birthday on Twitter.”
China views Taiwan as a breakaway state and refuses to recognize it as an independent country. Pressure from the influential Communist Party of China has even barred Taiwan from using its own national anthem and national flag in international events.
Ahead of the fashion show, a letter purportedly written by Perry contained a plea that she would “observe and comply” with Chinese laws and regulations was widely shared and circulated on Chinese social media website Weibo.
While Katy Perry fans in China expressed sadness over the news that she would skip the event, some netizens feel that she deserved being excluded from it, according to Mashable.
“You insulted China previously, now you want to come to China,” one netizen was quoted as saying. “Let this be a lesson to you.”
“I really like Katy Perry, but I support this decision,” wrote another Weibo user.
Perry is not the only one who has been excluded from the fashion event. Other models, including Gigi Hadid, have also been denied entry due to their various social media posts, which the Chinese government deemed offensive.
Hadid, for her part, caused a massive backlash after a now-deleted video, which showed her squinting her eyes to mimic a Buddha doll, became viral on Chinese social media.