Sat, May 26, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Indonesian police considering toned-down Gaga show

AFP, JAKARTA

Indonesian police yesterday said they were considering an offer from the promoters of an upcoming Lady Gaga show proposing to tone down the pop star’s racy performance.

Jakarta police said last week they would not give the green light to the June 3 show after Islamic hardliners threatened chaos if the star entered Indonesia, meaning she has so far been unable to obtain a permit to perform.

“We have received a document outlining an agreement by the promoters Big Daddy, which says Lady Gaga’s concert will respect Indonesian culture,” said Jakarta police spokesman Rikwanto, who goes by one name.

“We will evaluate it, and if we agree, we hope to sign it today [yesterday] and forward it to the national police,” he said.

“They said that Lady Gaga would wear more appropriate clothes and change some of her lyrics and dance moves in a way that will be acceptable in Indonesia,” he said.

The promoters of the performer’s “The Born This Way Ball” show in Jakarta had sold more than 50,000 tickets. They could not be immediately contacted to confirm that they had sent an offer to police.

However, her manager, Troy Carter, said in Singapore on Thursday that the star would not tone down any upcoming concerts, after similar protests from religious hardliners in the Philippines and South Korea.

He said Lady Gaga would rather cancel shows than make changes to appease censors and religious groups.

Asked specifically whether she was prepared to compromise on issues like her wardrobe in Indonesia, Carter said: “That’s not actually true.

Indonesia’s national police force, which has the authority to issue the permit, said last week it would not grant Lady Gaga permission to perform without the Jakarta police’s approval.

Several religious organizations have opposed the concert, with the hardline Islamic Defenders Front vowing to round up 30,000 protesters if the singer tries to enter the country.

However, the police decision last week was met with a public backlash, with critics accusing authorities of buckling to bigotry and intolerance.

It has also triggered debate among the country’s leaders on foreign influences on Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. Ninety percent of its 240 million people identify themselves as Muslim.

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