Egyptian singer Shyma has been arrested on suspicion of incitement to debauchery over her new video for song Andy Zoroof (I Have Problems), which authorities considered to be too daring and suggestive.
If convicted, the singer faces a
one-year prison sentence, and in the mean time she is being held in custody.
At a court hearing where the singer's detention was extended by a further seven days, the singer stated she didn't know her video would cause such controversy and was
acting according to the video director's requests.
Additionally, the Music Syndicate have decided to withdraw the singer's annual license, leaving her unable to perform and earn a living as a singer. The union also claimed that her video was
pornographic and harmed the values of community and ethics.
The video, which sparked outrage in the country, features the singer in a classroom in front of male students licking an apple and slowly unpeeling a banana, eating it and pouring milk on
it, and worst of all, pulling her bra strap off her shoulder.
US singer Katy Perry has become the latest artist to be banned from China.
The indefinite ban is apparently due to her wearing a sunflower dress at her 2015 concert in Taiwan capital Taipei. The sunflower has become a symbol of the anti-China movement
in Taiwan. At the same concert, the singer also draped a Taiwan flag on herself.
The singer wore the same dress when performing a little later in Shanghai and so has ended up on China's never again list.
Organizers of pop concerts and some other big events are increasingly wary of including Malaysia on their itineraries due to growing intolerance toward activities regarded as insulting to Islam by some Muslim groups.
The promoters say that
international music stars, especially those known for risque lyrics or revealing clothing, are unlikely to be brought to Malaysia as part of regional or global tours. The same goes for any gatherings that could in any way be deemed un-Islamic.
United Nations cultural rights expert warned in a report last week that there is growing pressure to adopt a more narrow interpretation of the Islamic religion and identity in Malaysia, which excludes the country's cross-cultural history, marginalizes
religious minorities, and fails to take account of the diversity of Malay Muslims.
Heavy metal band Metallica's concerts in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai had certain songs removed from their setlists due to China's censorship policies, reported the South China Morning Post.
Metallica frontman James Hetfield told the newspaper:
Why shouldn't you respect their culture when you're there as a guest and you've been invited to play? We want to be respectful, and just because we do things differently, it doesn't mean it should be forced upon
[others]. But hopefully we'll keep coming back and they'll realise we're not a threat politically and we have no agenda except to cross boundaries with music and let people enjoy the songs. We're not trying to bring a secret message to anybody.
India's gay community have celebrated a small victory over the film censors of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
India's censorship appeal board, the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has overturned 10s of cuts specified
by the CBFC before granting a music video a U/A (PG) certificate. The video, Miss You by Friends of Linger, would otherwise by A (18) rated which would bar the film from TV, which was the whole point of the video.
In a period of around
ten minutes on 25th January, the FCAT watched the video, read the appeal, discussed it, posed a few questions and then said the appeal was successful.
The band's front man, Sharif Ranganekar, wrote:
The FCAT in effect turned this tiny song into a moment that could be viewed as a shift in acceptance of gay content in mainstream television. However small the shift might be, it could well be an indication of
something bigger that many LGBTQs are hoping for. If we place this against the backdrop of hostility, hate, right-wing politics and the patiently-awaited Supreme Court verdict, the FCAT's conclusion to overturn a CBFC order is not very small. It could be
a precedent, a filmmaker out of Mumbai told me. Some gay activists felt the occasion should be celebrated and the song performed at gay parties.
The video is probably the first of its kind in the Indian context. Two men in love,
the love lost to marriage and the recollection of a relationship is what made this video a story to tell. When Manav Malvai, the director, showed me the story-board, I was sure we had a sensitive script. But the CBFC thought otherwise. In response to our
mid-September (2016) application, we received an A certificate. Of course, this meant that the video would never get to TV in India. I did not accept this and filed an application seeking a review.
The CBFC returned with a UA
with cuts response on October 21 . What the censors found objectionable was a ten-second shot of two men -- Pran Saikia and myself -- lying in bed only in shorts. Mind you, we were neither making love or even hugging each other. It was a scene of
separation and hardly intimate -- a word used by the CBFC.
By then, even sections of the press hinted that the CBFC was homophobic but this was denied. At that time, Miss You had become incidental to what was a
larger issue of acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
Finally, after viewing the video, the FCAT showed a fairness that one hopes is reflective of a changing time. They used the word sensitive to describe the video, relevant
for its content and the ten seconds that the CBFC had wanted cut as intrinsic to the narrative.
US rapper files for false arrest after being prosecuted for his lyrics
30th January 2017
Rapper Tiny Doo has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego and two police officers for what he claims was his unlawful arrest in July 2014 on gang conspiracy charges.
The charges were based on rap lyrics about shootings and gang activity
featured on Tiny Doo's 2014 No Safety album. The rapper was imprisoned for seven months, but was released after a judge dismissed the charges.
Tiny Doo told ABC 10 News:
The prosecutor in my case admitted
I wouldn't be charged if I sang love songs. As if creating art illustrating the impossible choices poverty presents my community and the magic of our survival isn't an act of love. My arrest and incarceration sent me a clear sign that my government does
not think I am worthy of First Amendment rights.
China has blacklisted 55 artists, mostly musicians, a majority of whom are from Hong Kong and Taiwan, who have participated in pro-democracy movements or expressed political views that China deems objectionable.
Works by some pop artists from Hong
Kong and Taiwan disappeared from Chinese major streaming services, reported Global Times.
One artist on the list, Hong Kong singer Denise Ho, started seeing her music disappear from Chinese streaming services in September 2016. Trouble began for
the singer in 2014 when she joined the pro-democracy Occupy Central campaign in Hong Kong (also known as the Umbrella Movement) and became the first celebrity to be arrested for her activism in the movement.
Taiwanese punk band Fire EX also made
it on the list. The band had created songs for Taiwan's 2014 Sunflower Student Movement that protested a trade agreement with mainland China that protestors claimed would leave Taiwan economically vulnerable to Chinese pressure.
The blacklist also
bans film directors and actors, eight Japanese artists, three US artists, one Australian band, one band from the Czech Republic, one Korean band, one Romanian band, and one Chinese band in exile. US punk band Strike Anywhere and Japanese punk rock band
Softball were both part of an annual concert in Taiwan that is known for its anti-China stance.