Lady Gaga was banned in China after meeting with the 14th Dalai Lama Sunday before the United States Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, Indiana, reported CNET. The meeting prompted Chinese officials from the Communist Party’s propaganda department to issue a ban on Lady Gaga in China, including blocking access to the singer’s entire body of work on the mainland.
Topics discussed at the meeting between Lady Gaga and the exiled Tibetan religious leader included self-esteem, meditation, addiction, kindness, and how to make the world a better place.
Watch Sunday’s video of Lady Gaga and the 14th Dalai Lama here.
China has one of the most heavily censored Internet systems in the world, dubbed the “Great Firewall of China,” which routinely blocks access to sites like Facebook and Twitter. Now, China will also ban all access to Lada Gaga, including her music, art, and even her name after the pop star was added to a list of hostile foreign forces, reported The Guardian.
“Chinese media organizations were ordered to stop uploading or distributing her songs in a sign of Beijing’s irritation.”
China’s mysterious propaganda department also issued orders for party-controlled newspapers and broadcasting outlets to publicly condemn Gaga’s meeting with the Dalai Lama after the ban. The meeting reportedly prompted “an angry reaction” from Beijing, which attacked the Dalai Lama for being “a wolf in monk’s robes.”
The spiritual leader was forced to flee Tibet in March of 1959 and has been working to obtain greater autonomy for Tibetans who have been living under Chinese rule ever since. Rulers in the People’s Republic of China consider the Dalai Lama a separatist, however, and claim he is conspiring to divide the Himalayan region. The Chinese government insists the Dalai Lama has plans to take Tibet back from China, ultimately declaring himself a theocratic ruler.
Following the ban, Hong Lei, who is a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, pretended to be unfamiliar with Lady Gaga on Twitter when foreign reporter Benjamin Haas asked if her meeting with the Dalai Lama would create a “bad romance” with Chinese fans.
China Foreign Ministry spokesman: who?
— Benjamin Haas 本雅明 (@haasbenjamin) June 27, 2016
Instead of answering the question, Hong proceeded to push the propaganda ministry’s stance by speaking out against the Dalai Lama’s ongoing global campaign to free Tibet. Leaders also removed all mention of Lady Gaga from the official transcript of a press conference that followed the meeting.
“The purpose of his visits and activities in other countries is just to promote his proposal for Tibetan independence,” Hong stated according to the AP. “We hope that people from the international community can be fully aware of his true colors and nature.”
Watch more footage of Lady Gaga meeting with the 14th Dalai Lama here:
Despite the ban from China on Lady Gaga’s music, her meeting with the Dalai Lama has already been viewed more than 3.2 million times (and counting) worldwide. The singer, real name Stefani Germanotta, joined the ranks of other artists banned in China, including Bob Dylan, Bjork, Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Miley Cyrus and Oasis.
This is also not the first time Lady Gaga has been banned in China. In 2011, the authoritarian regime decided to ban the pop star for being “vulgar” and exhibiting “poor taste” in songs on the album Born This Way, including the track “Government Hooker.” Prior to yesterday’s new ban, Gaga was reinstated by China in 2014. The singer has yet to respond to the latest ban on her work.
Lady Gaga’s meeting with the 14th Dalai Lama only serves to highlight the extreme controversy surrounding Chinese relations with Tibet, and China has been criticized for its violent and repressive tactics. For his part, the Dalai Lama has repeatedly issued assurances that he is not seeking Tibetan independence from China, but only wishes to resume dialogue between his representatives and the Chinese government.