Celebrities lead glamorous lives of fame, wealth, and glory. But that doesn’t mean they’re always welcome to go wherever they want. These celebs were either banned from entering a country — or had their work censored.
Beyonce decided to cancel a 2009 Malaysia concert amid fears of protests — and to avoid a ban on her sexy skin-baring outfits. She would have had to wear costumes that completely covered her body from the shoulders to the knees — no cleavage allowed. According to a source, “It’s also beyond the dressing. She has to change the show. Basically, the ministry wants her to stand in front of the microphone and open her mouth. Just sing and cannot move.” That can’t have sounded cool to Beyonce!
Brad Pitt was banned from China because of his starring role in the movie ‘Seven Years in Tibet.’ The movie did not positively portray China’s treatment of the Tibetan people. Then in 2013 the actor used his verified Sina Weibo account to tell his Chinese fans, “It is the truth. Yup, I’m coming…” The comment and his account were taken down shortly after.
It’s hard to know where to start with the countries that Snoop Dogg is banned from, but here’s a few:
- Norway — banned for 2 years after being busted trying to bring 8 grams of marijuana into the country
- UK — banned from 2006 until 2010 after a duty free shop was vandalized when members of Snoop Dogg’s crew were denied entrance to the first class lounge
- Australia — banned for his criminal record in 2007 — but allowed back in 2008
- Netherlands — banned from performing at the Parkpop Festival
Paris Hilton had to catch a return flight back to Los Angeles in 2010 after she was denied entry to Japan. The incident came a day after she had pleaded guilty to a Las Vegas cocaine possession in order to avoid doing time in jail. Japan’s strict immigration laws prevent people with drug convictions from entering the country.
The Chinese government wasn’t too happy with Miley Cyrus after this photo of her and a group of friends slanting their eyes appeared online. That’s her looking quite a lot younger in the middle of the picture. Miley was immediately barred from entering China. Also banned were broadcasts of her TV show and movies, as well as merchandise sales. China’s foreign minister said, “Miss Cyrus has made it clear she is no friend of China or anyone of East Asian descent. We have no interest in further polluting our children’s minds with her American ignorance.”
The Beatles were hounded out of the Philippines after they unintentionally offended first lady Imelda Marcos in 1966. Beatles manager Brian Epstein had declined an invitation to a breakfast reception on their behalf. Angry crowds attacked them as they made their way to their plane. They were even forced to repay the money they had made from their Manila shows.
Lady Gaga’s music has been censored in a number of different countries.
- Her song “Born This Way” made it onto the airwaves in Malaysia. But the lyrics “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, trangendered life, I’m on the right track, baby” were so garbled they became unintelligible.
- She was also investigated by Russia for entering on the wrong visa. But it’s speculated that the real reason is that she spoke out about gay rights while onstage in the country.
- In Indonesia, she had to cancel concerts after threats of violence from Muslim hardliners.
- And in January, 2014 Lady Gaga was finally removed from a Chinese government blacklist — her albums can now legally be sold in China.
Akon was denied a visa to perform in Sri Lanka after offending its Buddhist population. Sri Lankan protestors were upset about the music video for “Sexy Chick” by David Guetta, which features vocals by Akon. The video included “scantily-clad women dancing in front of a statue of Buddha.” According to the Sri Lankan government, it “triggered a lot of disappointment among Buddhists.” In addition, some of the lyrics weren’t deemed “suitable for public articulation.”
Harrison Ford is one of a number of actors not welcome to enter China or Tibet. In his case it’s because he testified in support of the Dalai Lama and independence for Tibet at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1995. He also narrated the documentary ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance.’
Alec Baldwin was banned from the Philippines as an “undesirable alien” after making an insensitive joke about mail order brides during an appearance on the David Letterman show. He’d said, “I think about getting a Filipino mail-order bride at this point or a Russian one, I don’t care, I’m 51.” Here’s his apology: “I joked that I might need a “mail-order bride” to achieve the goal of having more children in my life. I believe that most people understood that this was a joke and took it as such. (A dated reference, no doubt, and another sign of my advancing age.) However, I do apologize to anyone who took offense.”
The singer Cat Stevens had hits like “Peace Train,” “Wild World,” and “Morning Has Broken” back in the 60s and 70s. Later, he changed his name to Yusuf Islam when he converted to Islam. Then in 2004, while on his way to record with Dolly Parton, he was taken off a London to Washington flight because he was on a no-fly list for having suspected links to terrorists. At the time he told reporters, “I’m totally shocked. Half of me wants to smile, and half of me wants to growl. The whole thing is totally ridiculous. Everybody knows who I am. I am no secret figure. Everybody knows my campaigning for charity, for peace.”
Martha Stewart was unable to get a British visa after serving a conviction for obstructing justice. She did 5 months jail time in 2004 after lying to federal agents investigating shares sold before a sharp drop in value. A Border Agency spokesman said “We continue to oppose the entry to the UK of individuals where we believe their presence in the United Kingdom is not conducive to the public good or where they have been found guilty of serious criminal offences abroad.”
Banned or not? It was reported that Chris Brown had been banned from entering the UK after pleading guilty to a felony charge of assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna. But according to the rapper he was not banned. He’d apparently never intended to go in the first place, due to previously booked tour dates.
Believe it or not, Nelson Mandela’s name was on terrorist watch lists, and he required special permission to visit the US, until as recently as 2008. Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State at the time said, “This is a country with which we now have excellent relations, South Africa, but it’s frankly a rather embarrassing matter that I still have to waive in my own counterpart, the foreign minister of South Africa, not to mention the great leader Nelson Mandela.”
English singer Lily Allen is another celeb who was banned from the US. In 2007 she was forced to delay her US tour in the wake of an altercation with paparazzi photographers. Lily was detained for 5 hours at LAX and had her work visa revoked.
Sources: BBC News, CBS News, CNN.com, CSMonitor.com, GMA News Online, theguardian.com, Mail Online, MTV.com, SPIN Telegraph, Us Weekly, Weekly World News