(TibetanReview.net, Jul18, 2015) – China has blacklisted and forced the cancellation of Shanghai and Beijing concerts of the popular American pop-rock band Maroon 5 because one of its members, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, had greeted Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on his 80th birthday in his Tweeter account. The band’s concerts were scheduled in the two Chinese cities in September as part of its Asia tour.
Carmichael, who is also a rhythm guitarist in the band of the “One More Night” fame, had tweeted on Jul 4 saying, “Happy Birthday America (and The Dalai Lama too) sang happy birthday to his holiness today.” The tweet was later deleted but a cached version was still available online. The 36-year-old musician was also present at the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday celebrations in Los Angeles on Jul 4, reported ibtimes.com Jul 17, citing CNN.
Both the band and the Chinese government have not explained the cancellation, although the former has removed the two Chinese cities from its tour chart on its website.
China has blacklisted film stars and musicians for movies and gestures seen as being critical of its rule in Tibet. These in recent times included the Icelandic singer Bjork who chanted “Tibet” during her song “Declare Independence” at a 2008 show in Shanghai.
In 2009, English rock band Oasis reportedly cancelled its shows in China apparently because frontman Noel Gallagher had performed at a Free Tibet concert in New York.
Brad Pitt, who never had anything to do with Tibet or the Dalai Lama, is among the blacklisted Hollywood stars simply because of his role in the movies Seven Years in Tibet.