After starting the week off fighting reports that she was engaged, Lady Gaga denied that claims, but now she’s battling protests in Jakarta, Indonesia and was forced to cancel her sold-out June 3 “Born This Way Ball” show at the 52,000-seat stadium.
Islamic hard-liners and conservative lawmakers said Gaga’s sexy costumes, suggestive dance moves and “vulgar” style could corrupt the nation’s youth.
According to the Associated Press, a spokesperson for the national police said on Tuesday (May 15) that the permit for the show has been denied after religious conservatives worried that the concert could undermine the nation’s moral fiber. Some of the critics actually threatened to use physical force to prevent Gaga from getting off her plane. Though Indonesia is a secular state, it has the world’s largest population of Muslims and a small extremist fringe of religious leaders has been more vocal in recent years.
“She’s a vulgar singer who wears only panties and a bra when she sings and she stated she is the envoy of the devil’s child and that she will spread satanic teaching,” said Salim Alatas, the Jakarta head of hardline Islamic Defender Front (FPI), according to Reuters. “This is dangerous.”
Local police worried that they might not be able to guarantee security at the show and suggested to national police that the permit for what was to be Gaga’s biggest gig on her current Asian tour be pulled. Every seat at the Karno stadium had been sold, with half of them going in the first two hours.
The AP reported that permits for shows are typically issued three weeks before concerts in Jakarta, so it is not uncommon for tickets to be sold well ahead of receiving a final permit. Gaga’s Asian tour started last month and the Indonesian flap is not the first bump she’s faced along the road. Gigs in South Korea were 18-and-over because conservatives in that country also raised objections over the concert’s content.