You're Lebanese! You're...Censored: Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' banned in Lebanon
Not everyone’s in love with “Judas,” it seems.
First, Lady Gaga’s religious-themed tribute to the thirty-pieces-of-silver-loving turncoat rankled some Catholic and Latino groups. Now it’s resulted in her No. 1 album Born This Way getting banned in Lebanon. Though you might think that title-track shout-out of “You’re Lebanese!” would be a source of pride for the Middle Eastern country, Lebanon’s General Secretary Department has prohibited the sale of Born This Way CDs due to its being “offensive to Christianity.”
Though not mentioned specifically, it seems pretty obvious “Judas” was the main culprit here. As a country with a fragile religious makeup split between Christians and Muslims, it’s often been an unwelcoming place for certain kinds of button-pushing art.
In 2009, Lebanon banned the film Waltz With Bashir on grounds that it unfairly portrayed Christian militia groups as responsible for a massacre of Palestinian refugees, while Persepolis was censored for painting Islam in a negative light.
However, the General Secretary Department’s statement goes even further and accuses Born This Way of “bad taste.” Though invoking religion is commonplace in Lebanese censorship, artistic questions of “taste” usually haven’t been.
The Lebanese music scene is full of sexually precocious female popstars like Haifa Wehbe and Elissa, who could easily rival Katy Perry, Britney Spears, or Gaga for their titillating provocations. So, unless Lebanon especially bristles at faux German-speak, lyrics about hair, or Clarence Clemons’ mad sax skills, what in particular about Born This Way could be considered “bad taste”?
Well, considering that it’s been banned in Malaysia for “promoting homosexuality” (the fiercely conservative government there only allowed radio play of the title track with the lyric “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track, baby” excised), it’s hard not to think that another reason for its censorship in Lebanon is the album’s underlying gay-pride subtext.
So far Gaga hasn’t taken to Twitter to address the matter, and her rep could not be reached in time to comment. Though regarding the Malaysia ban she did say, “The point, with ‘Born This Way,’ is to fight for something that not everyone believes in.”
Readers, what do you think? Let us know, in the comments below.
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