Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, and a host of top models have had their Chinese visas rejected just days out from the first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai on Nov. 20, causing headaches for the brand and producers of the world’s biggest fashion show.
Gigi’s “racist” video
Just a few months Gigi came under fire in China over a controversial video showing her squinting her eyes to imitate Buddha. The 22-year-old model, who was due to walk the runway with her sister Bella Hadid, took to Twitter last Thursday morning to say that she won’t be traveling to China to do the show.
I’m so bummed I won’t be able to make it to China this year. Love my VS family, and will be with all my girls in spirit!! Can’t wait to tune in with everyone to see the beautiful show I know it will be, and already can’t wait for next year! 🙂 x
— Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) November 16, 2017
Gigi’s tweet led to plenty of people questioning why she wouldn’t be attending the show, with some telling that she got what she deserved. Chinese fans have been demanding that she be denied entry into the country because of her ‘racist’ video.
The video at the center of the drama was posted onto Instagram in February by Gigi’s 21-year-old sister Bella. In the clip, which was later deleted, Gigi and friends can be seen at a restaurant, where several are singing Happy Birthday. Gigi holds up a cookie in the shape of the Buddha, then smiles and squints her eyes to imitate his face.
At the time, other social media users quickly chimed in to criticize Gigi, with many claiming her actions to be ‘racist.’ Hundreds of thousands of people left comments on the internet, calling Gigi racist and telling her not to come to China.
One angry person web user wrote: ‘Don’t come to Shanghai. You’re not welcome here. Screw off!’ Another person posted: ‘[If she] despises Asian people, why would she come to Asia? [I] boycott [her] firmly.’
Katy’s sunflower dress
Katy Perry, who was set to perform, was initially informed that she’d be able to gain access to China. But the decision apparently was reversed after the government caught wind of a controversial incident from 2015, in which Perry wore a bright, glittery dress with sunflowers on it during a performance in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.
Her outfit wound up causing widespread outrage because the sunflower had been adopted the year before by anti-China protesters. To drive her point home, Perry also waved a Taiwanese flag during the concert in a show of support for the country, which has been butting heads with China for years over its independence.
“She was initially granted a visa to perform at the VS show in Shanghai, then Chinese officials changed their minds and yanked her visa. 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.”
The singer has now been banned from China indefinitely.