Chinese anger at Lady Gaga-Dalai Lama meeting

By Kerry Allen
BBC Monitoring

  • Published
Media caption,

Lady Gaga speaking at the US Conference of Mayors where she met the Dalai Lama

Chinese fans have reacted with outrage to Lady Gaga's meeting with the Dalai Lama over the weekend.

Her social media posts about meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader on Sunday have led to online speculation over whether she will still be allowed to perform in the country.

Lady Gaga is one of, if not the most, popular western musician in mainland China.

Yet she has irked mainland fans by showing her support for the Dalai Lama, who many feel is a figurehead for Tibetan separatism.

The Dalai Lama says he now advocates a "middle way" with China, seeking autonomy but not independence for Tibet.

'Has not considered Chinese fans'

Lady Gaga's popularity in mainland China means that she is often a major talking point for entertainment and mainstream media there.

However, such media have been notably quiet on her 26 June meeting, meaning that it largely went unnoticed.

Image source, Free Weibo
Image caption,
Censorship-monitoring website Free Weibo said posts mentioning the meeting were censored

Some Weibo users have had their posts censored for sharing pictures of the singer's Instagram post.

But fans have been determined to talk about it. More than 2,000 users have reacted to one prominent user MusicWars's post about the story, calling for "rational views on the matter".

Many have been quick to condemn Lady Gaga, asking whether she is "stupid" or "ignorant" on the subject of Chinese political sensitivity.

"She has not considered Chinese fans," says -GeorgeLee-, receiving over 1,000 likes.

DIZzyF says "she has given up on the Chinese market" and Svaniscono7 accuses her of causing controversy to stay relevant in a waning market. "The political depths this turtle will go to, to stay ashore," she says.

Yet lotusb defends her, saying "she should not be ashamed" and adding that some of her fans had "gone over the Chinese firewall" to find out why she met the Dalai Lama, and then tried to "painstakingly explain her reasons to other Chinese fans".

"We should respect all of her choices," he added. His comment received over 400 likes.

Other concerts cancelled

Many Weibo users are also speculating over whether Lady Gaga's meeting will mean she is banned from performing in China in the future.

A number of western acts have had their gigs cancelled in the last year, purportedly because of their links to the Dalai Lama.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Selena Gomez's gig was cancelled, reportedly because of pictures of her with the Dalai Lama

In April, pop singer Selena Gomez cancelled her August 2016 tour dates in Guangzhou and Shanghai, and rumours circulated that she had been forced to do so because of photos she shared on social media with the Dalai Lama.

Last September, Bon Jovi concerts in Shanghai and Beijing were also cancelled at the last minute, reportedly because the band featured the Dalai Lama in previous gigs.

And in July, a Dalai Lama tweet by one member of Maroon 5 was widely believed to be the reason for the American band's cancelled Shanghai September tour.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.