K-pop Star Lisa of Blackpink Banned from China's Weibo Amid Controversy Over Paris Burlesque Show

Credit: Lisa/Instagram

K-pop sensation Lisa, a member of the globally acclaimed girl group Blackpink, has been banned from China's prominent social media platform, Weibo. This development has sent shockwaves through the K-pop community and sparked intense speculation among fans and observers. The ban, which also affected Hong Kong actress Angelababy, has raised questions about the reasons behind this sudden censorship.

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Lisa, whose real name is Lalisa Manobal, mysteriously disappeared from Weibo this week, with her personal page replaced by an error message stating that her account was "not viewable due to being reported for violating laws and regulations." The same fate befell Angelababy, whose real name is Angela Yeung, with her official Weibo account citing "violations of relevant laws and regulations" as the reason for her ban. Strikingly, the platform did not provide any further explanation for these punitive measures, leaving fans and the media in a state of confusion.

Lisa's management agency, YG Entertainment, responded to these developments with a succinct statement, revealing that they had no official comments to offer at this time. The lack of information from both Weibo and Lisa's management only intensified the speculation surrounding the bans, leaving fans eagerly awaiting more details.

The key question on everyone's mind is whether these bans are linked to a burlesque performance that Lisa gave in Paris. The performance took place at the renowned Parisian cabaret Crazy Horse, and Lisa's appearances on stage between September 28 and 30, 2023, garnered significant attention. According to Crazy Horse's website, her five exclusive performances left an indelible impression on the audience and her fans worldwide. Lisa herself shared photos of her in cabaret attire on her official Instagram in October, playfully remarking, "Such an amazing experience at (Crazy Horse)... Call me whenever you need someone to fill a spot."

Credit: Lisa/Instagram

The suspicion that this Paris burlesque show might be connected to the bans on Lisa and Angelababy has been fueled by Chinese censors' past actions. In China, authorities are known for swiftly blocking content deemed politically sensitive or contrary to the socially conservative values upheld by the ruling Communist Party. Celebrities have previously faced scrutiny and censorship for a variety of reasons, including tattoos and what has been labeled as "effeminate" fashion.

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These bans on Lisa and Angelababy come on the heels of President Xi Jinping's call for women to contribute to "promoting traditional Chinese virtues and sound family values." This context has led to intense discussions regarding the appropriateness of Lisa's burlesque show in China, a country that has been tightening its grip on cultural and social standards.

Weibo users have expressed a range of opinions on this matter. Some argue that the censorship has gone too far, sharing a screenshot from a state media report dating back to 2012, a time when Xi Jinping came to power. The report praised the Crazy Horse cabaret for highlighting Parisian fashion designers, leading some to question why the show is now deemed unacceptable. One Weibo user lamented, "There's nothing to say at all about this, if this issue came up in the 2000s, who would care, let alone block you?" They added, "Now the level of social tolerance in our country is lower than low."

Conversely, there are those who support the ban, condemning Lisa's performance as inappropriate due to its revealing outfits. One Weibo user highlighted a perceived cultural difference, stating, "There's a cultural difference between China and other countries. When my sister said she wanted to see Crazy Horse, I wanted to strangle her."

As fans and the public grapple with the ban and its potential implications, the future remains uncertain for Lisa and Angelababy on Weibo, and the larger conversation about the intersection of culture, censorship, and political values continues to evolve.

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