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The pop star has reportedly been banned from getting a Chinese visa ahead of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, where she was expected to perform, reports “Page Six.”
Perry is allegedly banned from traveling to China because of what she wore during a 2015 performance in Taipei, Taiwan: a sequined dress embellished with sunflowers — a symbol for anti-China protesters the year before Perry’s performance. (China-Taiwan relations remain tense over the independence of Taiwan.)
A source told the site that before performers can enter China, “officials comb through their social-media and press reports to see if they have done anything deemed to be offensive to the country.” Last month, China Digital Times posted a letter that was supposedly sent by Perry to Chinese officials, in which it stated that she would “observe the laws and regulations” in China and “promise not to say or do anything religious or political.”
Perry joins Hadid and a number of VS models who are unable to attend this year’s fashion show.
On Wednesday, Hadid announced via Twitter: “I’m so bummed I won’t be able to make it to China this year.” The supermodel didn’t explain her absence, but she may have been denied a visa, too. Though she was expected to walk the show, she wasn’t necessarily welcomed by the Chinese people, since some folks on social media viewed her as being “racist” after her sister Bella uploaded a video earlier this year that showed her squinting her eyes to look like a Buddha-shaped cookie. That could have possibly played a role in Gigi’s ban from China.
The media is reportedly having trouble getting visa approval and permission to shoot outside the show’s venue, too.
Despite the troubles, the lingerie company’s decision to present in Shanghai makes sense for business, as the city is a major global financial hub. VS has been expanding its presence in the Chinese market, opening a boutique in Shanghai in March, as well as 26 beauty- and accessories-only stores in mainland China.
Viewership for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show seems to have steadily declined in the last few years; the holiday-themed lingerie special averaged a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 in 2014 before dropping to an average 2.3 rating in 2015 and then an average 2.1 rating in 2016. Given the presence of so many issues ahead of this year’s show, it’s uncertain how this might impact the CBS special, which airs Nov. 28.
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