China’s Ministry of Culture has banned 100 songs from music websites due to lyrics that are “vulgar” and “in poor taste,” fearing the lyrics will have a negative influence on Chinese young people.
Which songs were on the list?
While the majority were recorded by groups in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Canada, a few notable American acts did qualify for inclusion.
Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory,” “Marry the Night,” “Hair,” “Bloody Mary,” “Americano” and — no big surprise here — “Judas” made the list. But knowing how Mother Monster courts controversy, she’ll probably take it as a huge compliment, especially since her music has already been banned in Lebanon.
Oddly, though, the title track from “Born this Way” escaped notice by the censors, even though LGBT issues are largely taboo in China.
Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” which references “skinny dipping in the dark” and a “mÃ©nage Ã trois,” was also deemed unacceptable, as was Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls),” probably because it dares to empower females to do something other than get married and pop out male heirs.
But what are the Backstreet Boys doing on this list? The boyband’s ancient syrupy hit “I Want It That Way” may in fact be in poor taste, but vulgar it is not.
China never explains its reasons for banning songs, other than saying the 100 tunes were “not in accordance with the Interim Provisions on Administration of Internet Culture and other regulations” and they “disrupt the online music market order and endanger national cultural security.”
This is the third year China has released a list of blacklisted music, which must be deleted from all legal streaming and download sites before September 15.