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Blackpink star Lisa removed from Chinese social media after cabaret show

K-pop singer Lisa of megastar girl group Blackpink has been banned from China’s Weibo social media platform, sparking speculation among fans Friday (Nov 3) that the censorship was tied to a burlesque performance she gave in Paris.

Lisa, whose full name is Lalisa Manobal, disappeared from Weibo this week, with her personal page replaced by an error message saying her account was “not viewable due to being reported for violating laws (and) regulations”.

Also banned from posting was Hong Kong actress Angelababy, whose real name is Angela Yeung, due to “violations of relevant laws and regulations”, a message on her official Weibo account says.

The platform gave no further explanation for the bans. Lisa’s management agency YG Entertainment told AFP that it had no official statement to offer. But Weibo users and Chinese entertainment sites speculated that the two had been censored after reports in late September that Angelababy had attended a burlesque show by Lisa at the Parisian cabaret Crazy Horse.

Lisa “set the Crazy Horse Paris stage alight on Sep 28, 29 and 30, 2023 with five exclusive performances that left an indelible impression on both the audience and her fans all over the world”, the venue’s website said.

Lisa posted photos of herself in cabaret attire on her official Instagram in October, quipping, “Such an amazing experience at (Crazy Horse)… Call me whenever you need someone to fill a spot.”

Chinese censors are quick to block content considered politically sensitive or going against the ruling Communist Party’s socially conservative values, with stars targeted in the past for tattoos and “effeminate” fashion.

The blocking of the two stars comes after President Xi Jinping called on women to help in “promoting traditional Chinese virtues and sound family values”. Weibo users complained that censorship had gone overboard, sharing a screenshot of a state media report from 2012, the year Xi came to power, that praised the Crazy Horse cabaret for highlighting Parisian fashion designers.

“There’s nothing to say at all about this, if this issue came up in the 2000s, who would care, let alone block you?” one Weibo user wrote.

“Now the level of social tolerance in our country is lower than low,” they complained.

But others were supportive of the blocking, condemning Lisa’s performance as inappropriate for its revealing outfits.

“There’s a cultural difference between China and other countries,” another Weibo user wrote.

“When my sister said she wanted to see Crazy Horse I wanted to strangle her,” they added.

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