As we reported yesterday, this year’s Victoria’s Secret fashion show, which is slated to take place in Shanghai in just two weeks, is unraveling like a cheap lace thong thanks to Chinese authorities’ refusal to cooperate with its producers, and Communist Party's decision to deny visas to some of the biggest stars who were slated to participate in the show.
The latest update on the deteriorating state of affairs comes via the New York Post, which has reported that US pop sensation Katy Perry – who was slated to perform at the show – and supermodel Gigi Hadid, who was supposed to walk in the show, have been indefinitely banned from China.
Sources told the Post’s infamous Page Six gossip section that the “Roar” singer had tried applying for a visa to enter the Communist nation, but was denied by Chinese officials.
And while she was initially informed that she’d be able to gain access, the decision was apparently reversed after the government caught wind of a controversial incident from 2015, in which Perry donned a bright, glittery dress with sunflowers on it during a performance in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.
The innocent gesture wound up causing widespread outrage in China because the sunflower had been adopted the year before by anti-China protesters.
However, Perry also waved a Taiwanese flag during the concert in show of support for the country, which has been clashing with the mainland for years over its autonomy.
“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 explained. “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.
Meanwhile, Hadid and a handful of other models were banned because of social media posts that apparently offended Chinese government officials.
Hadid, who was booked for the show back in August, was banned because of a February Instagram video — in which she held up a biscuit shaped like a Buddha and imitated the religious figure by squinting her eyes.
The clip was posted by the model’s sister, Bella Hadid, in February. It was later deleted following a storm of criticism as Chinese social-media users warned her not to come to Shanghai, calling her racist.
Apparently, Victoria’s Secret has decided that the show will go on, with or without Hadid:
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
Some of Victoria’s Secret’s biggest names have been denied entry to China, in addition to lesser-known models, such as Julia Belyakova, Kate Grigorieva and Irina Sharipova.
Model Adriana Lima’s visa has been held up due to an ongoing “diplomatic problem."
Harry Styles will reportedly replace Perry as the show’s performing artist.