They Were Told to Get Out and Stay Out! Celebs Who Were Banned From Countries

Look, some celebs and recording artists are outrageous in their style and behavior, and the idea of them getting banned from a country, for whatever reason, is going to be not only unsurprising but even expected! But then there are famous stars that may surprise you. There are some celebrities who got the boot from a country for reasons that may seem maybe just a tad too harsh.

Lady Gaga/Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg/ Dog the bounty Hunter/Paris Hilton
Source: Daily Herald/ Shutterstock/ Shutterstock/

As we can see, celebs lead a more luxurious life than most of us. They’re given what they want when they want and how they want it. So when they’re restricted from going somewhere – like another country – it might come to them as a blow to their ego. Censorship and banning is common in the art world, whether it’s a song, a movie, a performance. These are the famous faces we all know really well who were told to get out and stay out! And it looks like China specifically has a zero-tolerance policy.

Alec Baldwin: Banned From the Philippines

Why? Because he made a joke.

Funnyman Alec Baldwin made a joke about the Philippines in 2009, but people of the country weren’t laughing. The former 30 Rock star even apologized for joking about buying himself a Filipina mail-order bride. “I apologize for the perceived insensitivity of that remark,” he wrote in his blog posted at the Huffington Post. But the apology went in one ear and out the other.

Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin pretending to be shocked
Source: The Daily Beast

Despite his apology, the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines issued an order that barred Baldwin from entering the country. He is officially considered an “undesirable alien.” Baldwin tried to explain that his joke was only meant to “achieve the goal of having more children in [his] life.” But I don’t think the Philippines gives a s—.

Sharon Stone: Banned From China

Why? Because she made comments about the 2008 earthquake.

Sharon Stone made many people angry, especially the Chinese people, after she commented on how the 2008 Sichuan earthquake might have been “karma” for the country’s treatment of Tibet. She said these words on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival. Her words: “And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened and I thought, ‘Is that karma when you’re not nice that the bad things happen to you?'”

Sharon Stone, ‘I Am Because We Are' Premiere at the 61st Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France - 21 May 2008
Sharon Stone at the ‘I Am Because We Are’ Premiere at the 61st Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France – 21 May 2008 Source: Shutterstock

Yes, what she said was insensitive. And China has been known for being, let’s just say…sensitive. Stone is an avid supporter of charitable causes, and a ban from China isn’t going to stop her. During an interview with the New York Times, she said, “I’m not going to apologize. I’m certainly not going to apologize for something that isn’t real and true.” One of China’s biggest cinema chains declared that they would not show her films in their theatres.

Brad Pitt: (Was) Banned From China

Why? Because of his role in Seven Years in Tibet

I told you China is lacking in the tolerance department. Our dear Bradley was banned from China for more than 15 years because of the role he played in the film Seven Years in Tibet. Apparently, the government was particularly offended by the movie because of its pro-Tibet views.

Brad Pitt and fans at the 'Allied' film screening, Shanghai, China - 14 Nov 2016
Brad Pitt and fans at the ‘Allied’ film screening, Shanghai, China – 14 Nov 2016 Photo by Imagine China/Shutterstock

The ban was in full effect until 2016 when Pitt’s movie, Allied, came out. In America, the movie only made a buzz because people were wondering if Pitt was having an affair with co-star, Marion Cotillard. In China, however, the movie’s release officially ended Pitt’s ban. Why? Because the film was partially financed by Huahua Media, a Chinese company.

Lindsay Lohan: Banned From India

Why? Because she filmed a documentary without a working visa.

Lindsay Lohan just can’t catch a break. Doesn’t matter what she does; she has a bad rap. There was a time, however, when Lindsay was Hollywood’s favorite girl. But, she went down the wrong path and because of that, and according to Marie Claire, she has been banned from many New York clubs.

Lindsay Lohan in India, filming a documentary
Source: BBC

She was also banned the entire country of India in 2009. And the reason, according to the publication, was because Lohan claimed to have saved a number of children from Indian sweatshops while filming a documentary with BBC. But it turned out that Lohan never applied for a work visa to even film the documentary in the first place, which means she misused her tourist visa. That’s a no-no.

Bob Dylan: Banned From China

Why? Because he had links to counterculture.

Another famous face that the Chinese government wasn’t tolerant of was the legendary singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan. He had two of his concerts canceled in China because of his links to counterculture. It was in 2010 when the then 68-year-old was denied permission to perform in Beijing and Shanghai.

Bob Dylan in concert during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Buffalo Chip Campground, Sturgis, South Dakota, America - 10 Aug 2010
Source: Shutterstock

It was mainly because of his earlier songs’ subjects about social protest and revolution. The canceled concerts significantly changed the Southern Asian part of his Never Ending Tour. Other concerts of the tour had to be called off, too, including ones in Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. The following year, China lifted the ban on one condition: that he sent them the setlist in advance.

Madonna: Banned From Egypt

Why? Because she went to Israel and devoted herself to the Kabbalah.

In 2004, the queen of pop found herself getting banned from entering Egypt after having visited Israel. Members of Egypt’s government denied her entry into the country because of a trip she made to Israel and her apparent devotion to Kabbalah (a sub religion of Judaism).

Madonna performing at a concert in Israel

They also requested not to grant Madonna a visa to be able to travel in Egypt, despite the fact that she didn’t even have any concerts scheduled in the country at the time. Madonna is not the only artist to have been banned from Egypt. Elton John was also denied entrance and wasn’t allowed to perform in a private concert (but we’ll get to that one later on).

Martin Scorsese: Banned from China

Why? Because of the film Kundun that he made in 1997.

Martin Scorsese’s 1997 film, Kundun, is a biopic of the early life of the 14th Dalai Lama. It made Chinese officials angry because the Dalai Lama was an enemy political figure. China threatened to limit Disney’s access to their market, but instead, they just banned Scorsese from entering the country.

Martin Scorsese and Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong filming Kundun
Photo by Mario Tursi/Touchstone/Capra/De Fina/Kobal/Shutterstock

Kundun wasn’t the only Scorsese film the government had a problem with. They also censored at certain parts of The Departed, from the scenes of violence to the subplot of selling stolen goods to the Chinese government. But things changed when Scorsese’s film, Silence, came out, which was actually approved by China for the film’s praise of and reliance on the Taiwanese film industry.

Gloria Estefan: Banned From Her Own Country (Cuba)

Why? Because she spoke up against Fidel Castro.

Gloria Estefan, known as the queen of Latin pop, was banned from her own country! She was no longer allowed to perform in her native Cuba for speaking out against Fidel Castro and his regime. Her songs “Dr. Beat” and “1,2,3” were blacklisted not to be played on any Cuban radio stations.

PBS 'Emilio & Gloria Estefan: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song' TV Show Panel, TCA Winter Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA - 1 Feb 2019
Photo by David Buchan/Variety/Shutterstock

Estefan’s husband was also banned, and the government even referred to the couple as terrorists! Estefan and her parents fled Cuba in 1959when Fulgencio Batista was defeated by Fidel Castro. She went back to Cuba in 1979 for a little while when then U.S. President Jimmy Carter lifted the ban on Americans entering the country. By 1997, Estefan was asked by the Pope himself to return to Cuba, but she refused due to her political convictions.

Beyoncé: Not Fit For Malaysia

Why? Because her outfits are too scandalous.

Beyoncé is almost too successful, right? Like, what can this woman do wrong? Well, Malaysia can answer that question. According to Bravo TV, Beyoncé decided to cancel her concert in Malaysia in 2009 after protests about her outfits. The clothes she wore on stage were considered to be inappropriate for the country because they have strict religious beliefs.

Beyonce at the Global Citizen Festival, New York, America - 26 Sep 2015
Photo by Mediapunch/Shutterstock

Keep in mind that Beyoncé was given the option of changing her wardrobe to wear something more conservative on stage. But, she just chose to cancel the show instead. And when you think about it, it wouldn’t be a true Beyoncé show if she wore a turtle neck and jeans. Oh, and she was told that she can’t dance, either. So yeah, of course, she canceled the shows.

Dog the Bounty Hunter: Banned from the UK

Why? Because he was involved in a murder.

Duane Lee “Dog” Chapman, or as everyone knows him – Dog the Bounty Hunter – was scheduled to appear in the series, Celebrity Big Brother in 2012. But, he got denied entry to Britain because of his past involvement in a murder. Back in 1976, Dog was convicted of first-degree murder and served five years in a Texas prison.

Duane 'Dog' Chapman in his office in Honolulu, Hawaii, America - 10 Jul 2006
Photo by David Howells/Shutterstock

That was enough for the UK to not permit him into the country. What happened to him in 1976? Well, the story is that he had been waiting in a car when a friend who accidentally shot and killed a pimp and drug dealer, Jerry Oliver, during a physical struggle that took place during a deal to buy marijuana.

The Beatles: Banned From the Philippines and Israel

Why? Because they declined a palace invitation (Philippines) and because they had a negative influence on youth (Israel).

In 1966, when the Beatles were in their prime and making waves, they were banned from the Philippines. And it was probably all due to a big misunderstanding. According to Cosmopolitan, the reason for the ban was because they declined to “attend a breakfast reception at the Presidential Palace with The First Lady Imelda Marcos.” The group had trouble leaving the country and were mobbed at the airport.

The Beatles waving to fans
Source: Rolling Stone

Two years earlier, in 1964, Israel banned the group on the grounds that they would have a negative influence on the country’s youth. It was after singer Cliff Richard came to Israel and was met with a chaotic mass of crazed fans. So they figured the Beatles could only cause more hysteria and mass disorder. But much later, in 2008, the Israeli ambassador to Britain wrote an official letter of apology, and it was presented to John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird.

Amy Winehouse: (Was) Banned From the United States

Why? Because she had drugs.

The late soul singer was banned from entering the U.S. in the years 2007 and 2009. The first ban was after her arrest in Norway for drug possession. She was then denied a visa, which would allow her to enter America, and so she missed the Grammy Awards – an awards show that she was supposed to perform in! So what did she do? She sang live by satellite link instead. And despite not being present, she won five Grammys, including Album of the Year.

Amy Winehouse Grammy performance, Riverside Studios, London, Britain - 10 Feb 2008
Amy Winehouse Grammy performance, Riverside Studios, London, Britain – 10 Feb 2008 Photo by Richard Young/Shutterstock

The second ban, after yet another drug conviction and also an assault. This time, Winehouse was supposed to play at the Coachella festival, but was denied a visa… again. She was ordered to appear at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court to face the charges against her relating to a 2008 incident, where she reportedly struck a fan who only wanted a photograph.

Katy Perry: Banned From China

Why? Because she wore a sunflower dress.

This is not a joke. In 2017, Katy Perry made the news after she was banned indefinitely from China… for wearing a sunflower dress! According to Page Six, Perry applied for a visa to enter China, but it got denied, and she was given an indefinite ban instead.

Katy Perry on stage wearing a sunflower dress
Source: Harper’s Bazaar

The reason for the ban refers back to 2015 when Perry wore a yellow, sunflower dress at one of her shows. Her choice of outfit was harmless, and she by no means meant to piss anyone off. But the problem was that the dress caused controversy because it had the same flowers used by anti-China protesters. She basically took “flower power” to a whole new level.

Justin Bieber: Banned From Argentina

Why? Because he allegedly ordered an attack on a photographer and disrespected the country’s flag.

In 2016, Justin Bieber was warned that if he entered the country, he would be arrested. Ouch! Judge Albert Julio Banos ordered the Biebs to “immediate detention” after an incident which took place in Buenos Aires in 2013. The incident involved photographer Diego Pensoa accuse Justin’s bodyguards of attacking him at a club. Apparently, Justin had ordered the attack.

Justin Bieber and two bodyguards
Source: YouTube

Before all that, Justin was accused by the Argentinian government of desecrating the country’s flag when he kicked it off the stage when performing in Bueno Aires. Bieber had to apologize publically to fans when he told them that he wouldn’t be performing in Argentina anymore.

Martha Stewart: Banned From the UK

Why? Because she’s an ex-convict.

America’s most famous homemaker was basically told ‘sorry, but you can’t come into the UK.’ Martha Stewart might make fantastic gingerbread cookies and knows how to make a good business deal, but she is still a convicted felon. According to CBS News, Stewart was denied entry into the United Kingdom after her charges in the United States for lying about selling stocks.

Marta Stewart
Source: CBS Austin

Her actions landed her in prison for 5 months and an extra 5 months of home detention. When she tried to enter the United Kingdom in 2008, she was denied. The official publication noted that the government stated they “continue to oppose” entry for anyone with previous convictions. Sorry, Martha, you made your bed.

Harrison Ford: An Enemy of China

Why? Because he supports the Dalai Lama.

It looks like anyone who supports the notorious Buddhists is going to be an enemy of China’s. Similar to Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford also made Chinese officials mad after he voiced his support for Tibet. According to Times of India, Ford was banned from the country after “testifying at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of an independent Tibet.”

Harrison Ford, the Dalai Lama, and Ford’s late wife Melissa Mathison posing for a photo

His interest in Tibet started after being involved in Scorsese’s film, Kundun. Ford wasn’t in the movie, but his wife at the time, Melissa Mathison, was one of the scriptwriters. In 1995, Ford testified against China’s human rights abuses in Tibet and advocated for Tibetan independence. He’s not allowed in China ever since.

Lady Gaga: Made Indonesia Angry

Why? Because of her wardrobe and antics.

Gaga’s outfits and her behavior don’t get a stamp of approval from Indonesia. She is not welcome in the country because her actions in 2012 were “inappropriate.” According to BBC, Lady Gaga revealed that she was devastated when she had to cancel her tour during the country’s protests. The government’s officials then decided to make the decision to refuse her an entry permit.

Lady Gaga performing on stage/ an anti-Lady Gaga poster
Source: NME/ Daily Herald

A mere three weeks before her sold-out “Born this Way” concert, she was told that she couldn’t perform in the country. The protests were against her choice of clothes and dance moves, which were going to “corrupt young people and undermine the moral fiber of the nation.” Just like Beyoncé, Gaga was given a choice to tone down her act, but her management decided to cancel the show instead.

Jon Bon Jovi: Banned From China

Why? Because the band used images of the Dalai Lama at one of their concerts.

Okay, so by now, you understand that that the Dalai Lama = no entry to China. In 2015, Bon Jovi and his band were not allowed to perform in China, and it had to do with their use of an image of the Dalai Lama back in 2010. The band used the image in a backdrop of one of their shows in Taiwan.

Bon Jovi performing in front of a Dalai Lama backdrop
Source: Washington Post

In 2015, their concerts in Shanghai and Beijing, which were supposed to be the band’s first dates in the country, got canceled. Call them naïve, but they were not expecting it at all. Bon Jovi even had a song where he sings in Mandarin; it’s called “Moon Represents My Heart.”

Hayden Panettiere: Will be Arrested if She Goes to Japan

Why? Because she was trying to save dolphins.

Sometimes good intentions are met with harsh consequences. Like when Hayden Panettiere, the young star of Nashville, tried her best to save dolphins in Japan in 2007, only to get a warrant out for her arrest. She’s technically not banned, but getting arrested upon arrival is pretty much just as bad.

Hayden Panettiere and her ‘save the dolphins’ protest in Japan

According to Today, Panettiere tried to stop fishermen from hunting dolphins. She and five others went out into the sea on surfboards to disrupt the fishermen’s catch. It was an emotional incident for Panettiere, but it went beyond just stopping fishermen. Japanese officials condemned her for interfering with international commerce. So it doesn’t look like the now 30-year-old is going to be heading to Japan anytime soon.

Snoop Dogg: Banned From the UK, Australia, and Norway

Why? You guessed it: possession of marijuana (among other things).

First of all, did you know Snoop’s real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Junior? He was banned on numerous occasions in various countries. In 2006, Snoop Dogg and his posse were arrested in Heathrow Airport in London after vandalizing a duty-free shop when members of his crew weren’t allowed in the first-class lounge. Snoop spent a night in jail, missed a scheduled concert, and was later entry into the UK.

Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg
Photo by VH1/Kobal/Shutterstock

Snoop was also banned from Australia in 2007 because of his previous criminal convictions. As a result, he missed his scheduled appearance at the MTV Australia Video Music Awards. Then in 2012, the rapper was banned from Norway for two years because of his possession of marijuana.

And yes, I was also surprised to find out that Snoop and Martha are friends.

Selena Gomez: Banned From China and Russia

Why? Because she took a photo with the Dalai Lama.

I know what you’re thinking. At this point, I should probably change the title of this article to Celebs Who Were Banned From China for Issues Related to the Dalai Lama. As of 2016, Selena Gomez can join China’s Most Hated Americans Club. According to Fox News, Chinese officials were mad when they saw a photo she took with the Dalai Lama.

Selena Gomez getting her photo taken with the Dalai Lama

The photo was taken in 2012, and Gomez shared it online. Years later, it resurfaced, and she had no choice but to cancel some of her Revival tour dates that were set for China. China isn’t her only enemy, either. The ban from Russia dates back to 2013. According to Cosmopolitan, it was the result of her support for gay rights.

Paris Hilton: Banned From Japan

Why? Because of drug charges in Las Vegas.

In 2010, the heiress got as far as the airport in Japan, where she spent six hours arguing with officials before being sent back to Los Angeles. The problem was that Hilton had previously pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors of cocaine possession. Hilton’s sentence was a year of probation, and Japan doesn’t allow foreigners on probation to enter the country.

Paris Hilton and a fan posing for a selfie with a selfie stick

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hilton was set to visit Japan to promote her fragrance and fashion lines, but when she got to the Tokyo airport in her private jet (no less!), she was refused entry. Her publicist expressed how disappointed Hilton was that she couldn’t “keep her business commitments and see her fans,” but she does, however, have to respect the law.

Jay Z: An Enemy of China

Why? Because his lyrics have too much “bad language.”

Beyoncé’s husband, Jay Z, may be one of the most successful and richest musicians in the world, but China couldn’t care less. In 2006, NME reported that the Chinese Culture Ministry banned the rapper because his song lyrics had too much bad language. His scheduled concert in Shanghai was canceled.

Jay Z

Promoter Sun Yun said to the Shanghai Daily: “Some of Jay-Z‘s songs contain too much vulgar language.” Jay-Z told AllHipHop: “I look forward to rescheduling my concert date in Shanghai. This world tour has been a life-changing experience and it has only been made better by touching the fans that I am seeing for the first time.” Really, though, nothing can stop Jay Z.

Elton John: Banned from Egypt

Why? Because he is openly gay and critical of religion.

Elton John was scheduled to perform at a private concert in Egypt, but it was suddenly canceled. And according to The Guardian, it was because John is a homosexual and “has been critical of organized religions.” The scheduled performance got a lot of pushback. An Egyptian musicians union coordinated with authorities to stop John from getting on stage.

Elton John in concert, Wizink Center, Madrid, Spain - 26 Jun 2019
Source: Shutterstock

The pop superstar, now 72 years old, had stirred up some controversy after his remarks to celebrity news magazine Parade, when he said, “Try being a gay woman in the Middle East – you’re as good as dead.” That was after he said he believed that Jesus was ‘gay.’ So, yeah, Egypt wasn’t happy with that.

Gigi Hadid: Banned From China

Why? Because she squinted her eyes in a video.

Joining the list of forbidden stars from China is Gigi Hadid, the famous supermodel. According to BBC, she had to miss out on a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2017 in Shanghai because her visa was officially denied. The model was not permitted to enter the country.

Gigi Hadid walking down the catwalk/video of her mimicking Buddha
Source: Teen Vogue

Most people believe that the reason has to do with a video she was in, where she was seen narrowing her eyes and trying to “mimic the Buddha shape of a cookie she was holding up to the camera.” The clip resurfaced after Hadid announced that she had been cast in the Shanghai show. The video created a frenzy online, and fans were accusing Hadid of offending Asian people. Thus, China put its foot down.

Miley Cyrus: An Enemy of China

Why? Because of a photo, she posted online.

Miley Cyrus pissed off a lot of people in 2009 when she posted a photo of herself where she was purposely using her fingers to make her eyes look slanted. And it’s this photo that resulted in a ban from China. Not only a denial of a visa (like some of the others on this list) but an official statement.

Miley Cyrus with friends, slanting her eyes
Source: YouTube

Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi stated: “Miss Cyrus has made it clear she is no friend of China or anyone of East Asian descent. We have no interest in further polluting our children’s minds with her American ignorance.” The then Hannah Montana star was forced to apologize, saying that she was just ‘goofing around.’ The Chinese government also banned any broadcasts of her TV show, movies, or sales of her merchandise.

Kesha: Banned From Malaysia

Why? Because she was offensive to “cultural and religious sensitivities.”

Kesha’s concert that was scheduled in 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was canceled. According to CNN, the singer was pissed off and took to Twitter to tell her fans that it wasn’t her decision to not do the show, and while she wanted to perform, she was informed that she could face jail time if she did.

47th Annual American Music Awards, Arrivals, Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, USA - 24 Nov 2019
Photo by: Christopher Polk/Variety/Shutterstock

Despite promoters potentially losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the ban, Kesha’s concert was canceled because authorities deemed it would “hurt cultural and religious sensitivities” in a country that has a Muslim majority. This was even after Kesha made an effort to adhere to the culture, including altering her song lyrics and her wardrobe.

Sacha Baron Cohen: (Was) Banned From Kazakhstan

Why? … Have you not seen Borat?

Listen, the mockumentary film, Borat, is one of the funniest I have personally seen. And that’s why a temporary ban was totally worth it. There are many reasons why a person can be banned from a country, and sometimes it’s because of a movie they chose to be in or make. That’s what happened to comic genius Sacha Baron Cohen.

London Film Festival Screening of 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan' at the Odeon West End Sacha Baron Cohen. 25 Oct 2006
Photo by Alan Davidson/Shutterstock

Cohen was placed on a banned list in Kazakhstan because he played a fictional character Borat who was meant to be from that country. But the ban didn’t last long, and it was later lifted because it ended up helping them out. According to Time, in 2012, Kazakhstan’s foreign minister was “grateful” for how the film helped bring tourism to the country.

Oasis: Banned From China

Why? Because Noel Gallagher performed at a Free Tibet concert.

Oasis was shocked when they were banned from China after Noel Gallagher’s previous concert 12 years earlier was brought to their attention. In 2009, Oasis had to cancel what was to be their first-ever performance in China. And it’s because Noel performed at a Free Tibet concert in New York back in 1997.

Liam And Noel Gallagher of Oasis
Photo by Richard Young/Shutterstock

The band had their licenses revoked before they were heading to their upcoming Beijing and Shanghai concerts. They were deemed to be unsuitable to play because of one of the Gallagher brother’s previous affiliations with the Tibetan movement. The band was confused, saying in a statement that the decision “has left both Oasis and the promoters bewildered.” This couldn’t have been good for Liam and Noel’s already strained relationship.

Chris Brown: (Was) Banned From the UK, Canada, and Australia

Why? Because he was found guilty for physically abusing Rihanna.

Along with Canada and Australia, the UK temporarily denied Chris Brown entry into the country back in 2011 by denying the singer a tour Visa. The decision was a result of his abuse against his former girlfriend, Rihanna. He was supposed to perform at a Michael Jackson tribute show.

Chris Brown hearing at the Los Angeles Courthouse, Los Angeles, America - 22 Jun 2009
Photo by Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

The official statement was: “We reserve the right to refuse entry to the UK to anyone guilty of a serious criminal offense. Public safety is one of our primary concerns. Each application to enter the UK is considered on its individual merits.” The ban in Canada came just days before his tour was set to launch, and it was for the same reason: for him being guilty of a serious criminal offense. Then in 2015, Australia followed suit after calls from the country’s government officials were campaigning against domestic violence.

Lily Allen: (Was) Banned From the United States

Why? Because she hit a paparazzi photographer in London.

British singer Lily Allen had to cancel her American tour dates in 2007 as she was banned from performing in the country for a while. It was due to an incident that involved her hitting a paparazzi photographer in London, England. Allen also wasn’t able to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards that year because her work visa was revoked.

Lily Allen attacking a paparazzi photographer
Source: Pinterest

At the time, Allen (then 22) was disappointed since she had flown from Australia to LA for the music awards nominations party today. She was also set to film a music video with Kanye West. Her spokesperson stated: “Lily doesn’t know why it happened, she is quite shocked, but her LA schedule carries on as planned. Little did he know that it would be canceled. Anyways, the ban was lifted the following year.

Russell Brand: Rejected From South Africa and Japan

Why? Because he didn’t have space on his passport.

Things didn’t go as planned for actor and comedian, Russell Brand when he tried to board a plane to South Africa in 2013. He was banned from entering the country because “he did not have two free pages in his passport.” What? Yeah. Apparently, it’s the minimum amount of free space that’s needed to gain access to the country.

Russell Brand on 'Lorraine' TV show, London, UK - 29 Sep 2017
Photo by Steve Meddle/ITV/Shutterstock

Brand was supposed to perform at a show that was part of his Messiah Complex tour in Johannesburg. But it had to be canceled. It’s not exactly a ban, but a major upset. Then again, in Japan, he was actually banned. According to Screenrant, it’s because of his previous trouble with the law. He had to be deported from the country in 2011 when he went to visit his then-wife, Katy Perry, who was performing her California Dreams tour in Asia.

Boy George: Banned From the United States

Why? Because he was facing trial in the UK.

Boy George was denied a Visa in 2008 by US immigration officials during the time when he was facing trial in the UK for the assault and false imprisonment of a male escort. At the time, he was set to begin a tour in Las Vegas. His manager released a statement explaining that the ban was in relation to his false imprisonment charges. George was on bail after he denied the allegations.

Boy George at the Fashion Awards, Arrivals, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK - 02 Dec 2019
Photo by Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

George was described as “astounded” at the American government’s decision and hoped the authorities could reconsider and let him perform. “George really would love to come to America and repay his American fans’ loyalty, and that is why we are asking the US authorities to reconsider their decision.” But all was well in 2014 when he was allowed back into the country.

Akon: Banned From Sri Lanka

Why? Because of his music video that had a Buddha statue.

Akon got a lot of Sri Lankan people angry and led to the government’s decision to ban him from the country altogether. It was after Akon released a music video that showed him enjoying himself at a pool party, with a Buddha statue in the background.

video clip of Akon at a pool party and a Buddha statue in the background

According to The Guardian, the Buddha statue was in the corner of the frame, out of focus, and the singer even claimed to not even know it was there. But that didn’t convince the Sri Lankans. Akon’s video spurred protests in Colombo, and he ended up having to apologize for the video. He stated that he “never set out to offend or desecrate anyone’s religion.” Hey, I believe him.

50 Cent: Banned From Canada

Why? Because he “attracts too many guns.”

50 Cent was banned from Canada in 2005 due to his previous criminal record and promotion of gun violence. Toronto’s Member of Parliament denied the rapper from performing in his 7 scheduled concerts by saying: “I don’t think people in Toronto or any urban center need or want to hear Mr. Jackson’s message right now. There are indeed limits and restrictions on freedom of expression. Particularly if they incite hate or if they are the kind of activity that is killing our youths right now across Toronto.”

50 Cent at the Starz 'POWER - The Producers' TV Show panel, TCA Summer Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA - 26 Jul 2019
Photo by David Buchan/Variety/Shutterstock

For anyone who doesn’t know of 50 Cents’ past, he was shot nine times in 2000 and left badly injured. New details of the infamous shooting have emerged during the trial of Murder Inc.’s record label moguls Irving and Christopher Lorenzo. The two-faced a major jail sentence over charges of money laundering.

Björk: Banned From China

Why? Because she supported Tibet (of course).

The Icelandic singer-songwriter, Björk, caused a stir in 2008. She was in Beijing performing a version of her own song, “Declare Independence,” when she started chanting “Tibet!” and “Raise your flag!” over and over again to her audience. According to China, she broke the law. The Ministry of Culture released a statement criticizing Björk’s comments and banned her from performing in the country ever again.

Bjork In Concert, Lycabettus Hill Theatre, Athens, Greece - 31 Jul 2008
Source: Shutterstock

They warned: “Any artistic group or individual who has ever engaged in activities which threaten our national sovereignty” during their performances would also be banned. But compared to others who were banned from China, it seems like Bjork’s actions were the only intentional ones. Like come on, she was asking for it.

Busta Rhymes: Banned from the U.K.

Why? Because of his assault and weapon possession charges.

The rapper wasn’t allowed to enter the U.K. in 2008 because of, according to MTV, his unresolved convictions in the U.S. Rhymes was trying to go to attend a RockCorps event at the time, but his assault and weapon possession charge was the reason he wasn’t able to get into the country at all.

Busta Rhymes performs on the Ram Jam stage at the Parklife music festival at Heaton Park in Manchester
Source: Joel Goodman/Lnp/Shutterstock

Rhymes was detained at London’s City Airport. Officials even tried to deport the rapper to Amsterdam. Rhymes four separate incidents of assault and drunk driving. Anyone want to know Busta’s real name? Trevor George Smith, Jr. He eventually made a deal, pleading guilty to third-degree assault. He was then sentenced to three years’ probation and 10 days of community service.

Tyler, the Creator: Banned From the UK

Why? His lyrics are too controversial.

In 2015, the American rapper was banned from entering the UK due to his controversial lyrics. His 2009 album Bastard and his 2011 album Goblin were specifically targeted. He wasn’t allowed to perform in the country for 3 to 5 years as a result. The UK’s Home Office said Tyler’s lyrics “encourage violence and discriminate against homosexuals.”

Tyler the Creator
Source: MTV

The ban resulted in his UK concerts being canceled. Tyler had to cancel performances in Australia, too, after being banned. And in 2014, Tyler and other members of Odd Future were refused entry to New Zealand. They were supposed to perform at Eminem’s Rapture Tour in Auckland. The reason for that ban? A 2011 event in Boston where Odd Future urged fans to attack police.

Walid Raad: Banned From the United Arab Emirates

Why? Because of his involvement with the Gulf Labor campaign.

Lebanese artist, founder of The Atlas Group, and an Associate Professor of Art in The Cooper Union was banned from traveling to the United Arab Emirates in 2015. He was denied because of his involvement with the Gulf Labor campaign. He was one of a few artists and cultural figures who were banned from the country.

Walid Raad

Others like Mumbai’s artist Ashok Sukumaran and New York University professor Andrew Ross were barred from entering for being members of the labor activist coalition. Raad wasn’t allowed into Dubai when he arrived at the airport due to security reasons. All this despite his long history of working in the region. So much for loyalty.

Mike Tyson: Banned from New Zealand

Why? Because he was convicted of rape.

Back in 1992, New Zealand canceled the ex-boxer’s Visa because of his rape conviction, according to The Guardian. At that time, Tyson was touring for a children’s charity (of all things). Unlike New Zealand, other countries on his tour, such as Australia, allowed him to enter.

Mike Tyson
Photo by AFF-USA/Shutterstock

We have gotten to the end of our journey of celebs who were told to get out and stay out. Sure, some were later allowed back in, but most are still considered enemies of these countries, mostly China. If we have learned anything today, it’s to think before you post a photo, dress appropriately, don’t swear too much, and don’t get arrested. Oh, and don’t piss off China.