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Lady Gaga‘s “Born This Way” lyrics are being censored in Malysia.
Radio stations in the Muslim-majority country garble the words: “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track, baby.”
The nation’s largest radio operator, AMP Radio Networks (which owns 8 stations, including an English-language one that reaches 1.5 million listeners), told the Associated Press the precaution was taken because of government restrictions against songs that could violate “good taste or decency or [are] offensive to public feeling.”
“The particular lyrics in ‘Born This Way’ may be considered as offensive when viewed against Malaysia’s social and religious observances,” the company said in a statement to The AP. “The issue of being gay, lesbian or [bisexual] is still considered as a ‘taboo’ by general Malaysians.”
They could be fined $16,000, and face other penalties from the government.
Gay rights activist Pang Khee Teik criticized the stations, saying media should be “a platform for marginalized voices and create understanding – not perpetuate ignorance and hate.”
“Lady Gaga was attempting to address this very thing in her song. How dare they play that song and cut out its shining heart,” added Pang, who co-founded Sexuality Independence, a Malaysian anti-discrimination arts movement. “We just want the same thing as everyone else: to love, be loved and have our songs played on the radio.”
He called on Gaga to pull her songs from stations in the country in protest.
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