Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai’s runaway hit We’re All Different, Yet the Same 《不一样又怎样》has been banned from the airwaves and television screens in Singapore, according to Hongkong’s Mingpao News.
The ban was ordered by the city-state’s oxymoronically-named Media Development Authority — which really functions as a censorship board — and it means that television and radio stations will be fined if they air the song or the music video.
Under Singapore’s broadcasting code, content must not “in any way promote, justify or glamorise… lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, paedophilia and incest”.
In 2008, a local television station was fined 15,000 Singapore dollars (then 11,200 USD) for featuring a gay couple in a hit home-improvement show. The Media Development Authority then said the station was fined because the show “normalises their gay lifestyle and unconventional family setup”.
In a statement issued through her manager, Jolin Tsai said she was “disappointed” with Singapore’s decision as the song was her way of expressing her support of marriage equality through music. She would, however, “respect differences in opinion”.
The move makes Tsai the second Taiwanese singer to fall foul of Singapore’s laws for supporting the LGBT cause.
In 2014, Taiwanese diva A-mei was also told she could not sing her pro-LGBT song Rainbow at her concert in Singapore. The year before, she sang the song in Singapore with images of kissing same-sex couples on the screen, winning her loud cheers from the audience.
The music video for We’re All Different, Yet The Same features a wedding scene — and a kiss — between Jolin Tsai and Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin. It was inspired by the true story of a lesbian couple who had been together for 30 years. When one half of the couple was hospitalised and required surgery, her partner was unable to give consent because she was not legally recognised as a family member.
Despite opposition from a small, but loud, Christian minority, activists in Taiwan have in recent years been able to build support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage on the island.
Earlier this week, the municipal government of Kaohsiung, a city in southwest Taiwan, announced that it would allow same-sex couples to register their partnership at the city’s household registration offices.
Gay rights groups in Taiwan have however criticised the move as it is only symbolic and affords same-sex couples with none of the legal protections and benefits that come with a marriage license.
BANNED IN SINGAPORE: Jolin Tsai’s lesbian-themed hit, “We’re All Different, Yet the Same”蔡依林新歌力挺同志 在新加坡被禁播 >> http://shst.me/jolintsaiCOPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: I provided the English translation of these lyrics. I do not own the copyright to this song. All rights belong to Warner Music Taiwan.
Posted by Kenneth Shanghaiist Tan on Saturday, 23 May 2015