The highly-anticipated 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show has faced a series of complicated problems.
The show, which takes place in Shanghai tonight, has lost performers and models due to visa issues and is struggling to coordinate replacements due to strict Chinese guidelines - and those are just two of the issues facing the lingerie giant.
Firstly, four models were denied visas to enter China. Russian models Julia Belyakova, Kate Grigorieva and Irina Sharipova were all denied visas, as was Ukrainian model Dasha Khlystun.
Then, Gigi Hadid announced she was no longer walking in the 2017 show. The model did not provide a reason, though fans and some news outlets suspect she was denied her visa or asked to back out due to racism backlash from a video her sister Bella posted to social media earlier this year, where Gigi mocked a Buddha cookie.
And finally, the show's headline performer Katy Perry was denied her visa due to a dress she wore with sunflowers on it during a performance in Taiwan in 2015. At the time, the sunflower had been adopted by anti-China protesters as a symbol.
Now, it seems the VS crowd are facing an extensive list of other problems following last week's series of denied visas.
Page Six reports that: "Fashion bloggers booked to cover the glitzy event are canceling their trips because the Chinese government won’t give them visas; TV producers are grappling with bureaucrats over permission to shoot outside the Mercedes-Benz Arena, where it’s being held (“If you’re going to China, you want to show that you are in China!” fumed an insider); and Victoria’s Secret staffers in China can’t send out press releases because they have to be approved by government officials."
“It’s just a nightmare for all the media trying to cover [the show],” said one of the insiders. “These TV companies are spending a fortune on it, and they don’t even know what they can shoot when they get there.”
The publication also reports that VS staff are having emails checked.
“They want to discuss what’s going on as far as replacements for those denied visas and alternative arrangements, but they have to be tight-lipped because it seems that the government is watching their e-mails,” a source told Page Six.
The show will go ahead tonight in Shanghai, here's hoping there are no more controversies before then!