The troubles continue for the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion show in Shanghai, as yet another major performer set to appear in the show has apparently dropped out last minute: Katy Perry.
"Sources exclusively told Page Six on Thursday that the 'Swish Swish' singer had tried applying for a visa to enter the communist nation, but was denied by Chinese officials.
"While she was initially informed that she’d be able to gain access, the decision was apparently reversed after the government caught wind of a controversial incident from 2015, in which Perry donned a bright, glittery dress with sunflowers on it during a performance in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan...
“'She was initially granted a visa to perform at the VS show in Shanghai, then Chinese officials changed their minds and yanked her visa,' a source explained. 'For every artist who wants to perform in China, officials comb through their social-media and press reports to see if they have done anything deemed to be offensive to the country.'
Perry wearing the dress in question during a 2015 concert in Taiwan
The same anonymous source also told the Post that several other models had their visas rejected because of things they posted on social media:
"The models, meanwhile, were believed to have been banned due to various social-media posts that they made, which were apparently deemed offensive."
One of those was believed to be Gigi Hadid, who earlier this year came under fire for posting a 'racist video.' Hadid announced earlier today that she wouldn't appear on the runway, but didn't provide an explanation.
"I’m so bummed I won’t be able to make it to China this year," she wrote. "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!"
Chinese social media users had been calling for Hadid to be banned from the country after she posted a 'racist video' appearing to mock Asian people to her Instagram account in February. Hadid apologized for the video in September, following backlash from netizens shortly after it was announced the show would be coming to Shanghai.
"Don't come to China, because you are not welcome," wrote one commenter on an Instagram post announcing her appearance at the show.
Chinese netizens flooded Hadid's Instgram page in September, telling her not to come to China after she posted a video appearing to mock Asian people
Hadid's sister Bella is still believed to be walking the runway this year, along with up to 50 other models. They include Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Lily Aldridge, Josephine Skriver, Behati Prinsloo, Jasmine Tookes, Candice Swanepoel, Stella Maxwell, Elsa Hosk, Lais Ribeiro, Romee Strijd, Sara Sampaio, Martha Hunt and Taylor Hill.
Hadid and Perry's abrupt exits from the show come two days after reports emerged that four models — one from Ukraine and three from Russia — were unable to obtain Chinese visas.
Their visa rejections happened just a few weeks 14-year-old Russian model passed away in Shanghai, in a story that made international headlines and ignited controversy over China's modeling industry, though it's unclear if there's any connection between the two incidents.
The Post also noted that supermodel Adriana Lima's visa application was being held up due to an ongoing “diplomatic problem."
Et tu, Adriana Lima?
Earlier this week, the Post also reported that several international fashion bloggers were canceling their trips due to visa denials, while television producers were “on the verge of nervous breakdowns" trying to coordinate coverage.
“It’s just a nightmare for all the media trying to cover [the show],” an anonymous insider told the Post. “These TV companies are spending a fortune on it, and they don’t even know what they can shoot when they get there.”
Last month, early rumors also suggested that Perry would be performing with (fr)enemy Taylor Swift and her ex, Harry Styles, during the big musical act of the show. Now it's looking like it might be just Styles and ... er, Miguel?
The musical act we probably won't be seeing
But the show must go on. Though its filming date has not been made public, it's rumored to be taking place in Shanghai on November 20. It will be broadcast in more than 190 countries, with US channel CBS playing the show on November 28 at 10pm Eastern Standard Time.
Click here to read the latest updates of the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.