Many Chinese fans are speculating that Gaga will be blacklisted from performing in China after appearing with the Tibetan spiritual leader.
Lady Gaga sat down with the Dalai Lama on Sunday to discuss love, compassion and the ills of the world. The 20-minute meeting, which took place after the Tibetan spiritual leader’s appearance at the 84th annual Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, was live-streamed on Facebook and liked some 160,000 times.
Once photos of the meeting made their way to Mainland China, however, the response was far less enthusiastic.
Lady Gaga Discusses Mental Health, Tragedy & Compassion With The Dalai Lama
Beijing regards the spiritual leader as a dangerous political figure bent on breaking the Himalayan region of Tibet from the rest of China. The Dalai Lama insists he now advocates a “middle way,” involving greater political autonomy for Tibet but not full independence.
Gaga has a huge fan base in China, but many fans are already speculating that she could be banned from future performances in the country due to the meeting.
“We hope that people from the international community can be fully aware of his true colors and nature,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday, adding: “The purpose of his visits and activities in other countries is just to promote his proposal for Tibetan independence.”
During the streamed discussion, Gaga asked the spiritual leader how to help young people with low self-esteem, or even those who might be contemplating suicide. “Paying more attention to inner values like love and compassion are the right approach,” he said, adding that he felt the world had become too materialistic.
The Gaga-Lama summit inspired a wave of outrage, lament and soul-searching on Chinese social media. The Dalai Lama’s name in Chinese is often blocked on social media service Web, but it appears that authorities have been giving users some space to express their pro-Beijing umbrage towards the U.S. pop star.
This article originally appeared in THR.com