Pity the poor censors at the Chinese ministry of culture, for they have set themselves a Sisyphean task. Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are among the western artists featured on a blacklist of 100 songs compiled by the Chinese culture ministry.
According to the Chinese entertainment websites, these sigers have been banned by the Chinese ministry of culture eager to keep ‘poor taste and vulgar content’ away from their young people.
Six Gaga tracks, including “The Edge of Glory” and “Judas,” are cited, as well as Perry’s “Last Friday Night” and Spears’ “Burning Up.” A notice posted on the culture ministry’s website said the 100 songs had not been submitted for official approval.
Six Lady Gaga songs in all were on the list, all from her latest album. The 12-year-old ballad “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys was also targeted. Meanwhile, “Run the World (Girls)” from Beyonce is also prohibited from online distribution.
Teng Jimeng, a professor of American studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said that sex, politics or religion could put a song on the black list but even songs about “youthful independence” may run afoul of censors. Most of the banned songs are from Taiwan or Hong Kong, with several from Japan.
China began to blacklist music in 2009 to keep songs of “bad taste” out of the country when China attempted to stop illegal downloading and also had the idea to keep songs of “poor taste” out of the country.