Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande lyrics labelled 'offensive' to racial, religious harmony by Government

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande lyrics labelled 'offensive' to racial, religious harmony by Government
PHOTO: Facebook/Chen Show Mao, YouTube/Lady Gaga

[UPDATE 3.15pm] Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam has addressed MP Chen Show Mao's photo of a parliamentary handout showing examples of "offensive lyrics".

In a Facebook post, Shanmugam emphasised that they are merely examples of songs that some might find offensive, yet wouldn't be banned.

"People who did not listen to the speech may misunderstand that the list contains songs which have been banned (!) or are going to be banned (!)," he wrote.

on Facebook

[Mr Chen Show Mao] My Parliamentary colleague Mr Chen Show Mao enclosed a list of songs. I gave the list in Parliament...

Posted by K Shanmugam Sc on Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Little Monsters and Arianators probably never expected their music to be associated with death metal band Watain, who were banned from performing in Singapore recently.

But in an apparent parliamentary handout posted online by Chen Show Mao, pop queens Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande are cited by the government for song lyrics deemed "offensive" to racial and religious harmony here.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam delivered a ministerial statement regarding hate speech yesterday (April 1).

The Swedish band's March 7 concert was originally allowed before it was cancelled at the last minute, due to past controversial statements made by the frontman and song lyrics that denigrate Christianity.

Later in the day, Chen, who is an opposition Member of Parliament, shared a photo of how Gaga, Ariana and other musicians sang their way into our legislative body, cheekily captioned "LESSON OF THE DAY".

on Facebook

LESSON OF THE DAY. Ministerial handouts.

Posted by Chen Show Mao on Monday, 1 April 2019

Gaga's 2011 song Judas was one example raised. The song, obviously, is about the eponymous disciple of Jesus Christ. He is most famous for betraying Jesus.

Ariana was cited for God Is a Woman, a song in last year's album Sweetener. The track has generally been interpreted as being about female empowerment, although there are indications she's referring to herself as God.

The two other musical acts shown in the handout are American rock band Nine Inch Nails and Ireland's Hozier.

Together, the artistes have amassed a total of 12 Grammy awards. Gaga and Ariana have both staged concerts in Singapore.

Strong reactions to the photo, which has more than 1,000 shares already, appeared quickly, while satirist Yeo Tze Hern gave his take too.

on Facebook

it's in the public interest 👉🏻 http://instagram.com/yeolo.sg

Posted by YEOLO on Monday, 1 April 2019

Instead of hate speech, Yeo wants to fight "wine wastage", calling out the "offensive lyrics" of Sun Ho's infamous tune, China Wine.

Ho is a co-founder of megachurch City Harvest Church, of which six senior members have been convicted for using funds to further her music career.

In Parliament, Shanmugam revealed that two in three Singaporeans supported the Watain ban, according to a survey.

Outlining the sequence of events, he said, "When we concluded that was the mainstream, widespread Christian view, and assessed the consequent security issues, we decided that the concert had to be cancelled."

The band's singer Erik Danielsson once said, "I totally encourage any kind of terrorist acts committed in the name of Watain.

"We've always been encouraging music to take a physical form."

Shanmugam feels that if Watain were allowed, other similar performances would have to be, such as Malay Power music, which is anti-non-Malays.

He recognises the disagreements with the ban, but said "the government has a responsibility not just to the individuals who like the music, but also the majority of Singaporeans who would be offended".

tanthiampeng@asiaone.com

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