Another wrench has been thrown in the plans for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, set to take place in Shanghai on November 28: Katy Perry will reportedly also not be attending. Like model Gigi Hadid, who Page Six reports was likely banned from China due to a February Instagram video in which she held up a Buddha-shaped biscuit and imitated it by squinting her eyes, Perry also had her visa denied apparently after officials learned of a 2015 incident that involved the singer wearing a dress with sunflowers during a performance in Taipei, Taiwan, while also waving a Taiwanese flag.
Taiwanese efforts towards independence from China have been a struggle, to say the least, and the sunflower was a symbol used by anti-China protesters in a 2014 movement by Taiwanese students. While Perry likely thought the display was a sentiment respectful towards Taiwan, to China it probably looked a whole lot like a political statement, undermining a policy established by President Nixon the recognizes China and Taiwan as one nation.
While Perry has not responded to Refinery29's request for comment on the reported ban, Hadid has taken to Twitter to acknowledge her absence — though she didn't comment on whether or not it had anything to do with the February video.
"I’m so bummed I won’t be able to make it to China this year. Love my VS family, and will be with all my girls in spirit!!" she wrote. "Can't wait to tune in with everyone to see the beautiful show I know it will be, and already can't wait for next year! :) x"
I’m so bummed I won’t be able to make it to China this year. Love my VS family, and will be with all my girls in spirit!! Can't wait to tune in with everyone to see the beautiful show I know it will be, and already can't wait for next year! :) x— Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) November 16, 2017
Following the offensive video, Hadid apologized to her Chinese fans on the website Weibo, writing "I want you all to know it was never my intent to offend anyone through my actions and I sincerely apologize to those who were hurt or felt let down by me," saying she has nothing but respect and love for the people of China.
As for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, without Perry and Hadid, its future is anyone's guess.