Maybe Selena Gomez won’t have to give us an explanation for performing two shows from her “Stars Dance” world tour in Russia after all. According to reports, the 21-year-old pop princess has been denied entry to the country due to speculation that she may be using the concert dates to promote “homosexual propaganda.”
The Moscow Times is reporting that Gomez was forced to cancel two of her Russian tour dates after officials denied the singer’s visa. Following Madonna’s 2012 brush with the law after speaking in support of Russia’s LGBT community and Lady Gaga’s subsequent “sodomy” promotion, the Russian government isn’t taking any chances this time.
The accusations are completely baseless, though. Apparently Russia didn’t get the memo that Selena Gomez only steals ideas from Britney Spears.
Ahead of Gomez’s Russian tour dates, a Change.org petition was organized to urge the singer to follow in Madge’s footsteps and promote LGBT rights on stage. “Selena Gomez knows all too well what it’s like to be bullied,” petition organizer John Becker wrote, “and as an international pop star she has a unique platform – and a special obligation – to join other celebrities like Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Cher in speaking out against the Russian government’s bullying of LGBT people.”
But Selena’s denied visa doesn’t necessarily mean the Russian government wins this round. On the contrary, Becker says recent Western opposition to the new anti-gay legislation is making Russia “nervous,” and now that the country is “aware of the bruising its reputation has taken in the wake of their anti-gay crackdown,” reform may not be far off.