Lady Gaga's concert in Seoul sparks protests

CRI, April 26, 2012

A member of South Korea's Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality gets ready to put up a street banner against Lady Gaga's Seoul concert in downtown Seoul on April 23. [Photo:]

Lady Gaga's concert in Seoul has courted much controversy, as some conservative South Korean Christians have called for the cancellation of her concert, which they claim promotes suicide, violence and homosexuality.

The U.S. pop diva will perform on April 27 at Seoul's Olympic Stadium as she begins a worldwide tour, dubbed the "Born This Way Ball".

The flamboyant singer has faced a wave of protests from conservative campaigners after she arrived in Seoul on April 20.

An alliance of Christian groups and civic organizations launched a series of one-person demonstrations against the concert around the Seoul headquarters of Hyundai Card, the concert organizer.

Their members denounce her concert for supporting homosexuality, insulting Christianity and advocating pornography.

A Christian group called the Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality said in a statement that Lady Gaga's concert brings deep concern as it appears to widely spread homosexuality and pornography in the name of freedom of expression.

The group put out posters across the city accusing Lady Gaga of spreading "unhealthy sexual culture" through "lewd lyrics and performances". The posters were taken down by city officials.

The Korean Association of Church Communication, which represents dozens of South Korean churches, urged the country's Christian community to join hands to "stop younger people from being infected with homosexuality and pornography," according to its statement last month.

South Korea's Media Rating Board has already banned children under the age of 18 from attending the show, even if accompanied by a parent. Before the restriction, the show had an initial age rating of 12 and older.

But some criticized the controversy surrounding Lady Gaga's concert in Seoul as an "overreaction".

"What Lady Gaga pursues is expressing desire, and it leads to preposterous performance," Lee Taek-kwang, a professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, was quoted by Hankyoreh newspaper as saying. "It's not like she's actually calling for the consumption of human flesh or the practice of homosexuality."

"Lady Gaga's satanic performance is commercially derived from the counterculture of the 1960s that has disappeared now, and it is inappropriate to over-interpret it," Lee said.

After performing in South Korea, the singer will take her tour across Asia including Japan, China's Taiwan and the Philippines, before heading to Europe.