Pic: Facebook /@dualipaofficial
English pop star Dua Lipa says she stands by her fans who were forcibly removed from her Shanghai show because they were waving rainbow flags.
Video from Wednesday’s concert shows security guards violently dragging people out of their seats. Witnesses claimed that they were removed and ejected for standing up and for holding up the LGBTQ Pride flag.
Shockingly, there was also footage of the guards kicking and beating some of those who were escorted outside the venue. One person called the violent staff “hooligans.”
After the incident, Lipa, 23, appeared shocked and emotional on stage and told the audience: “I want to create a really safe environment for us all to have fun.”
The Be the One and One Kiss singer later made a statement on social media, praising her LGBTQ fans and writing that she was proud of them.
“I will stand up for your love and beliefs and I am proud and grateful that you felt safe enough to show your pride at my show. What you did takes a lot of bravery,” she said.
“I always want my music to bring strength, hope and unity. I was horrified by what happened and I send love to all my fans involved. I would love to come back for my fans when the time is right and hopefully see a lot of rainbows,” she added.
While homosexuality is legal in China, the country is increasingly restricting LGBTQ expression and representation. This has included banning homosexuality from television and blocking gay-themed films. There are also claims that Chinese clinics and hospitals continue to offer dangerous and discredited gay ‘conversion therapies’.
Last month, the organisers of Mr Gay World announced they’d been forced to withdraw next year’s event from Hong Kong, due to a clampdown by the Chinese authorities on LGBTQ affirming events and campaigns.