Singer Selena Gomez has cancelled her Shanghai and Guangzhou tour this year after being allegedly coerced to back out by the Chinese government due to her relations with the Dalai Lama, media reports said. Gomez was supposed to perform in the two Chinese cities in August as part of the “Revival Tour,” but it appears that promotions for the concerts have been pulled down from the singer’s official website. According to various reports, the reason behind the cancellation is Gomez’s photos with the Dalai Lama posted on a social media site.
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“Chinese authorities have allegedly blocked Selena from performing in the country because of her connection to the spiritual leader,” said China Entertainment Weekly. One of the photos in question shows Gomez smiling at the Dalai Lama as the latter holds her head in an apparent gesture. The singer captioned the photo “words of wisdom. #speechless.” According to the Daily Mail, the picture was taken in 2014 when Selena Gomez met the Dalai Lama during rehearsals for a We Day Vancouver event in Canada. Should the rumors be true, the former Disney star would not be the only artist to get banned in the country after establishing connections with the Tibetan spiritual leader.
In 2015, Bon Jovi’s concerts in Shanghai and Beijing were pulled out by Chinese officials “for appearing to show support to the Dalai Lama or Tibetan independence,” the Time reported. The so-called “support” refers to Bon Jovi’s 2010 concert where a video backdrop of the spiritual leader was used in one of the performances. Bjork was also banned in China “for life” after chanting “Tibet, Tibet” at a Shanghai tour in 2008. Maroon 5’s concert last year was also cancelled after one of the band members sent a “Happy Birthday” tweet to the Dalai Lama. The exiled Tibetan monk has long been in conflict with Chinese communist leaders.