Katy Perry Is Somehow Enmeshed In A Chinese Political Scandal Because Of Her Costumes

Katy Perry, a sentient Diet-Coke-and-a-salad, has found herself in Big Trouble all because of what she probably thought was a really cute dress. The singer performed in Taipei, Taiwan, this Tuesday, wearing a sparkly sunflower-emblazoned dress, surrounded by dancers dressed as sunflowers. This seems fine, right? Jokes on you, sucker.

According to my new favorite source for international news, E! Online Perry’s sunflower dress was a troubling choice.

Taiwan just marked last month the anniversary of the Sunflower Student Movement, when students staged a 23-day occupation of Taiwan’s parliament last year in protest of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, a trade pact that some Taiwanese feared would give mainland China too much economic influence in the sovereign state.

The sunflower was seen as a symbol of hope for the students during the protest, but I’m pretty sure Perry had no clue. This unintentional political statement warmed the hearts of her Taiwanese fans, but raised ire in China. In addition to donning the accidental show of solidarity for Taiwan, Perry also draped herself in a Taiwanese flag during the song “Unconditionally,” which, sure. Seems like an odd choice to me, but as Richard Lawson over at Vanity Fair.com points out, she probably does this often: “It’s probably one of the requirements in her tour rider: ‘flag of whatever country this is’ listed right below, ‘sofa made of Lay’s® Potato Chips’ and above ‘bathtub full of Midori.’”

All right. Katy Perry knows not what she does. I have a Taiwanese mother and a ton of family in Taiwan and didn’t know about the Sunflower Student Movement until just about right now. That’s not her fault, that’s just America, a tepid excuse, but also the truth. But Katy Perry should consider firing the person that is in charge of making sure she’s dressed, wearing her lashes and speaking coherently to the sold-out crowds that are paying to see her. Like, someone could have easily slid a Post-it note across her dressing table with a few fun facts about the city she’s about to aurally assault. Because, accoding to Quartz, she didn’t know what language they spoke:

“I don’t even know how to speak Mandarin. That’s what you speak, right?”

Fans took to Weibo, a Chinese social media network, to express their distaste, writing things like, “I’m speechless over Fruit Sister… I suppose she has no chance to come to the mainland anymore, though she might not care. These performers who intervene in other countries’ politics are the most annoying.” We agree. Fruit Sister is the worst.

[Vanity Fair]

[E! Online News]

[Quartz]

[Photo via Getty]