Update: November 17, 2017 at 11:15 a.m.
Next week’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion show in Shanghai, China is reportedly turning into a disaster. After Thursday’s news that Gigi Hadid will no longer be walking in the televised lingerie event, Page Six reports that Katy Perry, one of two singers set to perform in the show, is also backing out.
According to sources for Page Six, the 33-year-old singer was denied a visa by Chinese officials because of a controversial outfit she wore in 2015. The outfit, worn at Perry’s concert in Taipei, Taiwan, consisted of a bright glittery dress with sunflowers, a symbol adopted by anti-China protestors the year before.
Per Page Six, Chinese officials also weren’t pleased with Perry’s behavior at the show, which included waving a Taiwanese flag in support of the country, which has been in conflict with China for several years over its independence. The paper also reports that Perry was initially granted access to China, but her visa was revoked after officials found pictures of the outfit.
“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,” a source said. “Maroon 5 was banned a few years ago because one band member wished the Dalai Lama happy birthday on Twitter.”
Though unconfirmed, sources also told Page Six that Hadid’s sudden departure from the fashion show was also a result of strict Chinese government. According to the sources, China blocked Hadid’s entry due to a video she posted in February, in which she slanted her eyes to mimic Buddha.
Along with Hadid, models Julia Belyakova, Kate Griorieva, and Irina Sharipova were also banned, while fan-favorite angel Adriana Lima‘s visa has been delayed for a “diplomatic problem.”
Original story: November 16, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
On Thursday, Gigi Hadid disappointed fans when she announced that she would no longer be walking in the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China. The 22-year-old model, who was set to walk in the fan-favorite televised event next week, expressed on Twitter that she was “bummed” to miss out on the show, but assured fans that she’ll return to the catwalk next year.
Considering Hadid’s lifelong dream to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (as seen by her teary reaction when she was announced for the show in 2015), the model’s sudden departure raised eyebrows among fans and industry folk who were shocked to see Hadid drop out. And though we might never learn why Hadid couldn’t make it to China, we can also participate in the theorizing. Check out some of our theories, below.
She Didn’t Want to Deal with the Chinese Press
In February, Hadid faced a lot of heat after she posted a video in which she appeared to be making fun of Asian traits by slanting her eyes to mimic a Buddha doll. Fast-forward to September and Hadid was confronted with the video again when it was announced that she would be walking for Victoria’s Secret in China.
Given the firestorm surrounding the video, which prompted Chinese people to call for the government to block Hadid’s entry, it’s likely that Hadid dropped out of the show simply to avoid the negative and uncomfortable press she would’ve had to do once she touched down. Given Hadid’s skirting of the issue—aside from a relatively secret apology on the Chinese social media site, Weibo—it’s likely that the model isn’t comfortable with the questions that might ensue if she was to go on with the show.
She Couldn’t Obtain a Chinese Visa
Now, it might sound unbelievable that Hadid, a frequent jet-setting model, wouldn’t be able to obtain a travel visa, but given her history and China’s strict government, Hadid being turned for a visa might seem like a more clear possibility. Already, four models have been turned down for visas with the Chinese government, so it’s not too out-there for Hadid to also be lumped in that group, even if she is one of the biggest faces out there.
She Signed Another Lingerie Deal and Has a Non-Compete Clause
It’s reported that Hadid’s friend, Kendall Jenner, was unable to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this year because she signed a brand deal with high-end lingerie brand, La Perla. Given Hadid’s top-model status, she could’ve struck a similar deal right before the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, preventing her from walking. Likewise, brand deals can be strict (even if the brand isn’t directly competing with another company), so Hadid’s just-inked Maybelline contract could also be a preventer. However, considering that Hadid suggested she was going to walk in 2018’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, a fashion deal might not be the most plausible explanation.
Why do you think Hadid isn’t walking for Victoria’s Secret this year? Leave your theories in the comments.