Victoria's Secret Staff Think The Chinese Are Spying On Them

Stories about the shambolic Victoria’s Secret fashion show – which is slated to take place Tuesday Nov. 28 in Shanghai – just keep getting weirder.

Chinese bureaucrats have so far refused to cooperate with the show’s producers and planners, denying visas to Gigi Hadid, one of the show’s highest-profile models, and Katy Perry, the US pop superstar who was slated to be the musical guest.

The Communist Party has also inexplicably refused to issue press passes and visas to members of the western media who were supposed to travel to China to cover the event.

Already, we imagine the marketing brass at L Brands have learned their lesson, and that this will be both the first, and the last, VS fashion show held in China.

But as if all this weren’t enough, the New York Post is now reporting that the show’s organizers believe the Chinese government is spying on them. Which, of course, is probably true, given Chinese authorities’ well-known penchant for monitoring foreigners.

The Post says e-mails of VS show staffers and production crew are apparently being monitored by Chinese authorities.

TV and media-industry insiders who are desperately trying to figure out what’s going on amid the production chaos are getting frustrated by messages from colleagues in China simply saying that they can’t speak frankly about the issues with the government because their communications are being watched.

Perry had her visa application declined because she once showed support for Taiwan (which is in an independence struggle with China) during a Beijing concert. Hadid’s was denied because of a picture her sister, Bella Hadid, published on Instagram that the Chinese public deemed offensive. Plus, fellow Angel Adriana Lima’s visa application has been imperiled by an unknown “diplomatic issue.” Meanwhile, a host of other models have also had their visas denied.

Many fashion bloggers have also been denied visas, and TV producers have discovered that they need permits to shoot outside of the Mercedes-Benz Arena, where the show, which is slated to air on CBS later this month, is set to take place.

As one source put it, “If you’re going to China you want to show that you’re in China!”

The surveillance is apparently making it difficult for the show’s organizers to find replacements for the models who have been denied entry. Harry Styles has already been booked to fill in for Perry.

“They want to discuss what’s going on as far as replacements for those denied visas and alternative arrangements, but they have to be tight-lipped because it seems that the government is watching their e-mails,” said a source.

With more than a week to go before the show, we can only imagine what fresh entanglements will crop up as the date draws nearer.


Muh Raf mpnut Mon, 11/20/2017 - 07:19 Permalink

One of my wives is a chink. If this word affects your delicate sensibilities you should f*ck off from these parts. The comment section of ZH is the real fight club of this site, where the first loser is political correctness. Get a brain you twinkle toed twat, you're just conditioned to respond negatively to cerain trigger words and in reality you've not been harmed at all.

In reply to by mpnut

Manthong Laowei Gweilo Sun, 11/19/2017 - 22:36 Permalink

/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
 Can I join in   ??????

In reply to by Laowei Gweilo

MsCreant Yen Cross Sun, 11/19/2017 - 22:40 Permalink

Careful where you dip your wick. Nah. Teasing.This is big, big, business. The Chinese do NOT give one fuck about it at all. They are letting us know. The Olympics, they do it their way and are perfectionists even when it is inefficient to be so. They are into (heh heh) face. They are insulting the fuck out of all of us. Face is where this is at. And I don't mean going down on a Western model. I mean being down on the Western model.

In reply to by Yen Cross

swmnguy MsCreant Sun, 11/19/2017 - 23:50 Permalink

Yes, they are.  And of course the Victoria's Secret people are being spied on and the various journos are being messed with.  I go to China every year or two to do private meetings for a US retailer you've heard of.  The Chinese couldn't care less about me, but they spy on me.  I've seen the people following me, and even made eye contact and smiled at them.  Going somewhere with a camera crew is something I'd never do there without the right permits and a local crew and translator, and a shit-ton of cash.  For those who haven't heard, like apparently these fashion jokers, China is a fucking Communist dictatorship.  And also, it's their country, so it's up to you to find out how you're supposed to go about doing things.  Another thing to consider: when you ask and they say "No, " they mean "No."  As in, " You can't do that."The Chinese are still pissed off about the Q'ing Dynasty, the Opium wars, and being occupied by Britain, France and the US.  They're really touchy about foreigners coming into their country and telling them what to do.I know this firsthand, but it's in any decent guidebook.  These fashion people must be right out of "Zoolander," that level of stupid and unaware.

In reply to by MsCreant

Ghost who Walks swmnguy Mon, 11/20/2017 - 00:38 Permalink

I lived there for a few years and you are right on the money. The unequal treaties may never come up in conversation, but it guides modern thinking with regards to their dealings with Westerners. I was lucky, not coming from one of the named occupiers or attackers.When I discussed the issue with key friends and acquaintances, they were very aware of the thinking behind official responses, because they needed to be in alignment with it to avoid "trouble".My wife was freaked out by the constant surveilance and the detail of the reports feed back to me to let me know that they were watching. 

In reply to by swmnguy

Blankone MsCreant Mon, 11/20/2017 - 00:46 Permalink

How is denying Katy Perry and Gigi Hadid entry to their country an insult to all of us?

The models say their emails are being monitored. On what basis are they making those claims? Are they being edited? There was nothing in the article about any signs of monitoring or any evidence.

I suspect they are being monitored, but all emails are collected in bulk in the US.

And for the assertion in the article that VS may not want to return. What? China is a HUGE market of women with increased income to spend and wishing to become/look more western. I would expect VS to return next year but to plan ahead and submit lists of who they will bring to get them preapproved.

In reply to by MsCreant

swmnguy Blankone Mon, 11/20/2017 - 09:58 Permalink

Well, on the straight business level, you're right.  VS obviously didn't do the right kind of planning to the right degree, involving the right people.  And China is the largest market, so of course VS would want to get in there and stay in there for the obvious business reasons.But nothing in China is done for the obvious business reasons alone.  The Chinese aren't keeping out Katy Perry and Gigi Hadid to insult Americans, but to show Chinese that the Party is still in charge, and still capable of making seemingly petty and arbitrary decisions.  If you're not in charge, you can't make seemingly petty and arbitrary decisions, see?  And if you can, then you are, ipso facto.As in any hierarchical Authoritarian system, the only way to get what you want is to pre-align your interests with those of the Authorities who are really in charge (who might not be the Authorities you see).  There are a couple ways to do this.  One is to have very high-level insider information.  That's very risky because there's an asymmetry of understanding; you don't know enough to be able to tell if you're getting the right high-level information, and that could put you in a very bad spot if you get the wrong inside dope or your benefactor is on the outs all of a sudden.  The other way is to play it dumb and straight down the middle.  To do that, you're going to have to split the swag with a whole lot of people, keep your story simple, straight and consistent, so you tell everybody the exact same things.  That works best over the long run but you leave a whole lot of money on the table; enough that it may not be worth pursuing your goal.Bottom line: stay the hell away from hardline hierarchical systems of Authority.

In reply to by Blankone

MsCreant Automatic Choke Mon, 11/20/2017 - 09:29 Permalink

They are young and pretty, that does not change. Each season calls for a "new look." To look fresh they are going to need to do something radically different to change it up. The "minimalist look" perhaps, one year. Old, old, old school, maybe. Or something "neo-greece."The S & M steam punk look was novel for a time. It is getting boring.I'm being catty, I know. But that our eye is inured to it is a bit shocking. Bondage is not always, innately, paired with sex.

In reply to by Automatic Choke

MrSteve Sun, 11/19/2017 - 22:34 Permalink

The use of the word “secret” is the source of all the vetting mystique. Victoria’s Sexy Underwear would be a big yawn for the People’s secret police.

MsCreant Sun, 11/19/2017 - 22:35 Permalink

North Korea comes by their paranoia honestly. Similar roots to the societies. Difference is their citizens are not shocked by it. It's just how it is...