The singer was performing in Taipei when she donned a dress featuring large sunflowers, surrounded by huge fake sunflowers, performing with backup dancers who were also wearing sunflowers. It's an act and a costume that Perry has worn in several countries on her Prismatic World Tour, but her Chinese fans are up in arms over a perceived political slight.
To give a little background, a year ago students took over Taiwan's parliament, protesting a trade agreement with China in what became known as the Sunflower Student Movement. China and Taiwan have been locked in a struggle for political sovereignty over the nation for decades. The one-year anniversary of the student protest was very recent, and some Chinese fans took offense to the costume in the belief that she was symbolically trying to show her support for the movement.
The problem with this line of reasoning is that Perry wore the same costume at her Shanghai show.
Even more troubling for her Chinese fans is that Perry later wrapped a Taiwanese flag around herself like a cape while singing "Unconditionally," which some see as a tacit nod toward the cause. Of course, some Taiwanese fans are now holding her up as a symbol of their desired revolution.
Perry — whose nickname is Fruit Sister in China — has not commented on the controversy herself, but we think these tweets sum up the situation pretty well.
I am laugh-crying at Taiwan anti-China dissidents "moved to tears" because Katy Perry's stylist accidentally committed her to their cause— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) April 29, 2015
"I don't even speak Mandarin. That's what you speak, right?" Katy Perry while unknowingly decked out as a member of Taiwan's Occupy— Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) April 29, 2015
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