30 Celebrities Banned From Other Countries
You would think that celebrities would be welcomed anywhere in the world with open arms, but that isn’t the case for some A-listers. For varying reasons, these stars have earned their spot on the exclusive list of no entrance! Every country and culture has their own cultures and customs, and these celebs stomped all over them. Celebrities are known for their stunts for publicity, but maybe they take things a little too far sometimes.
Their movies, statements, or actions made a lasting impression on leaders around the world, and several have decided it’s better if these stars stay away…far away. Sad news for fans, but it’s just one of those moments where you can’t win over everyone. There’s always someone out there who can’t take a joke or mind their own business, unfortunately leaders in these countries are some of those same people.
We’re not going to lie, several of the things that landed these stars in hot water with other countries is pretty petty. However, some are completely understandable. Here are 30 celebrities who have been banned from countries around the world due to their behavior. While being barred from a country isn’t a laughing matter, the reasons behind it are sure to make you chuckle.
This talented and handsome actor will unfortunately never be able to see the Great Wall of China or the Forbidden City. He spoke out in support of Tibet, so, naturally, the Chinese government banned him from the country. Richard Gere, Martin Scorsese, and Bjork have also been banned for this same reason. Touchy much? Hopefully we don’t get banned now.
Harrison Ford has been involved in ongoing human rights campaigns for several years, in 1992, he became a spokesperson for Tibetan issues. He actually had an opportunity to meet the 14th Dalai Lama, and since he’s been a prominent advocate for Tibet. He even testified before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of Tibetan independence while also bringing human rights violations to light in China.
We love Alec Baldwin's hilarious jokes, but apparently the Philippine government was not too amused by one he made on Letterman about getting a mail-order bride from the country. So, as a result, they deemed him an “undesirable alien" and banned him from the country for life. Geez, seems kind of harsh don’t you think?
Baldwin is no stranger to raising a few eyebrows. He’s been in showbiz for nearly 40 years now, and he’s never been one to hold his tongue when telling a joke. Despite his colorful history in the public eye, people love to interview him. When asked about marriage on Letterman, Baldwin shot back with “I’m thinking about getting a Filipino mail-order bride at this point… or a Russian one.” Yikes.
Due to her outrageous outfits and risque shows, the Indonesian government denied pop-goddess Lady Gaga entry into their country. They and the Islamic protesters deemed her show unsuitable for Indonesian audiences, so she was forced to cancel her concert there. They really missed out on one heck of a show!
Mother monster loves all her fans, no matter how far away. She was reportedly devastated to cancel the concert that had already sold 50,000 tickets. The police in Indonesia refused to provide a permit for the concert if it wasn’t toned down. Also, religious groups vowed to stop Gaga from getting off her plane, so for the safety of her and her fans, her team issued refunds and canceled.
If only we could ban him from this country... this certified scumbag is banned for life from the U.K. due to his criminal record, aka putting Rihanna in the hospital. Even if he didn’t face hardly any repercussions here, at least he’ll never be able to ride the London Eye, so that makes us feel better.
It’s pretty sad that a person’s home country has less repercussions for a criminal than another one. However, since the incident Chris has pretty much fallen from grace, so maybe he got what he deserved after all. We should take note from the U.K. though and make this “cancel” official.
Shocking, right? Well, Brad never actually broke any laws or anything, but he is banned for life from China for starring in the movie, Seven Years in Tibet, which explored the Chinese military campaign in Tibet in the 1950s. The Chinese government was not too fond of how they were portrayed in the film, so decided they never wanted to grace their soil with Brad’s presence. Their loss.
China must wear their feelings on their sleeves because Brad wasn’t the only celeb to make the naughty list. You would think if they disliked the movie so much, they just wouldn’t watch it or at least share their side of the story instead of banning everyone who shared the other sides point of view.
She came in like a wrecking ball and crushed everyone’s feelings. After her stent with Disney, Miley has made a name for herself by pushing boundaries and raising eyebrows. She isn’t afraid to bare all, literally. But hey, she seems to be doing fine. If all else fails, at least she’s still partying in the U.S.A.
Snoop Dogg was actually banned from the entire country of Norway when he was caught with marijuana at the airport while he was attempting to enter the country. Fortunately, the ban was only for two years, not for life, so at some point Snoop can still go enjoy the majestic fjords.
Snoop Doggy Dogg never leaves the house without packing an arsenal of paraphernalia. You would think he would just buy new after he left the airport but knowing him he probably hand picks the substances he enjoys. Snoop has been pushing the narrative for recreational use of Mary Jane since the ‘90s. Lighten up Norway! Or just light one up!
What?! Queen Bey is banned from Malaysia? That is unfortunately correct as the Malaysian government believed her show was too sexy for their audience. Too sexy? Please. Beyonce is not “too” anything except too perfect. Malaysia is missing out on the performance of a lifetime. Maybe one day the Malaysian government will pull the stick out of their derriere and have a good time.
Bey is an icon that our entire generation deserves to enjoy. Pardon us while we get on tangent really quick. But seriously, if you think Bey goes too far, what about Cardi, Meghan, or any male rapper talking about some explicit stuff. It’s just not right, let the people have their queen. QUEEN B!
We're disappointed but not surprised by this one. Elton John was scheduled to peform a private concert in Egypt, but government officials stopped him from entering the country. The reasons? Elton's homosexuality, support for gay rights, and criticism of organized religion. You would think in this day in age archaic bans on gay people would be overturned, but no. They’re still here in full force.
No matter where you are in the world, gay people are there. They exist and have a right to express themselves. Elton has been a loud voice for gay rights for decades. He’s probably one of the most prevalent gay artists of our generation, and he still faces these types of opposition. Imagine what the people in Egypt face on a daily basis.
In 1992, Mike Tyson was convicted and served time for rape. Two decades later, New Zealand cancelled Tyson's visa to the country because of this. While he had initially been granted admittance for a speaking tour to benefit a children's charity, the organization cut ties with him, and the country decided to not let him enter.
This ban is one of the few on the list we agree with. We don’t blame countries for wanting to ban visitors like Mike Tyson. Besides the sexual abuse situation, he’s all-around kind of annoying. He’s been a celebrity for way to long and it’s gone to his head. Well, what’s left of it anyways. He’s pretty much fried out from decades of drug abuse and concussions.
The iconic New Jersey band Bon Jovi was scheduled to perform concerts in China for the first time in 2015, but those plans abruptly changed when the government canceled their shows unexpectedly. And what grievous sin did these rockers commit against the Chinese people? They may or may not have spoke out against China in favor of the occupied Tibet.
They once simply used an image of the Dalai Lama in a backdrop for a concert in Taiwan. Nothing throws the Chinese government into an absurd, histrionic hissy fit more than anyone, at any time, expressing any sort of sympathy for or recognition of the unjustly Chinese-occupied country of Tibet.
If you haven't been paying attention to Paris Hilton since the early 2000s, you're not alone. But apparently, since her reality show days, she's been using her family's money and connections to create multiple clothing and fragrance brands. When she wanted to conduct a tour in Japan to promote them, she was banned by the government--they blocked her entry because of a recent misdemeanor drug charge.
While we're not a fan of the hotel heiress’s early days and a huge fan of national sovereignty, Japan really could stand to take a chill pill when it comes to some of their hypervigilant stances on drugs. The fact is things happen and people make mistakes. It’s not cool to hold that against them so intently.
While some celebs were getting banned in far off and exotic locations, Boy George found himself denied entry to the US of A. After filing a false burglary report in London, the United States government denied a visa for George to perform in New York City after the singer's incident.
If you don’t know who Boy George is, you’re either a child or you’ve been living under a rock since the ‘70s and ‘80s. Boy George is probably best known for the hit song “Karma Chameleon” but you may also know Boy George from their gender bent British persona! Inspired by glam rock and rhythmic blues and reggae, Boy George become a world wide sensation… accept for the U.S. apparently.
This rapper and businessman is banned for life from Canada because of not only his infamous criminal record, but also because Canadian authorities think that his music videos and behavior attracts too much gun violence to be allowed a presence in the country. In a country as nice and peaceful as Canada, we can see their point.
Curtis James Jacson III, otherwise known as 50 Cent, is one of the most prominent rappers in the early 2000’s. His music was a major influence in the industry after his first major-label album Get Rich or Die Tryin’. He founded G-Unit in 2003 and sensationalized underground street-life for the world.
Domestic goddess and apparent threat to British safety, Martha Stewart, was denied entry to the UK in 2008 because of her 2004 felony convictions surrounding securities fraud. Her only planned appearance was a speech at the Royal Academy, where she was presumably going to teach Britain's best and brightest how to do insider trading.
Martha Stewart is an American household name for years. Despite her blunder, we’ve all learned the art of forgiveness and invited her back into our homes like an old friend. You would think the country of manners would follow suit, but apparently not. Poor Martha will never be welcomed back into the queen’s company.
When touring the Philippines, the Beatles apparently declined an invitation to the presidential palace from first lady Imelda Marcos. Whether they declined because of a miscommunication or because they had no interest in seeing this lady's crazy shoe collection is still a matter of debate. However, it was still seen as disrespectful.
What isn't up for debate is what happened next--the band was banned from the country but had a hard time leaving thanks, to angry mobs waiting for them at the airport. What a slap in the face it must have been to deny visiting a country’s royalty. We’re sure people were reeling at the disrespect.
In 1997, Martin Scorsese directed a mediocre biopic about the Dalai Lama called Kundun. Unlike everyone else who saw the film and immediately forgot about it, the Chinese government couldn't let any depiction of their mortal enemy go unpunished. They just couldn’t let it go. Any negative depiction of China and you get the axe.
So, they did what they always do and banned him from the country. He wasn't the first and almost certainly won't be the last person to get the banhammer from China because of Tibet. He’s joined a long list of Hollywood A-listers to be banned from China for all eternity because of their stance for Tibet.
Unlike some celebs who got banned from China for tangential support of Tibet, Bjork took things to a new, Bjork-y level. During a concert in Shanghai, the Icelandic oddball began to shout, "Tibet! Tibet!" as she performed her song "Declare Independence." We're sure the audience was speechless, knowing what was to happen next.
Bjork has been known to make political declarations in several variants of this performance. If all else fails, we know that Bjork will always be one to do the unthinkable. They will always turn heads and drop jaws. Honestly, good for Bjork for taking a stance. We’re almost certain they didn’t even notice the ban, because they live in their own world.
Remind me again what exactly it is that Selena Gomez does? Regardless, the good people of Russia will never unlock this mystery, since the star was banned from the country in 2013. Apparently, the government was worried she would speak out against the anti-gay laws that had recently gone into effect.
Russia, like China, is one of those countries that has no hesitations when banning artists for their views on political issues. Selena didn’t even do anything to merit this ban, but with an upcoming concert in sight, Russia went ahead and banned the singer because they had their suspicions of her opposition.
If you’ve seen Akon’s “Sexy Chick” music video, you’ve seen the bikini-clad women dancing around in a pool with a visible statue of the Buddha in the background. Well, this may not have been a big deal to most people, Sri Lankan Buddhists took it quite offensively and protested until Akon was denied entry into the country.
It’s probably a good practice for entertainers to NOT include religious depictions or sacred symbols and traditions in their irreverent music videos. Sorry Akon, but you probably deserved this for not thinking ahead about the repercussions of showing off your lady friends in front of Buddha. It’s kind of disrespectful.
Some of these celebrity bans have been really dumb on the part of the countries involved. This is not one of those bans--because it involves Jusin Bieber. During a tour in the country, Bieber allegedly assaulted a photographer and disrespected the Argintinian flag. When he went to plan another tour in the country, he was denied entry.
The Beebs has his fair share of controversy. A slew of assault and outbursts left us all wondering if he would ever get his act together or if he was doomed to be like all the other childhood stars. Justin, thankfully has made it back to the land of the living, and even sought forgiveness from his fans for his bad behavior thanks to his friend Ellen.
Sacha Baron Cohen
To no one's surprise, Kazakhstan hated Sacha Baron Cohen's portrayal of the country and its people in Borat. What choice did they have but to ban him? Also to no one's surprise, the country changed its tune when they saw how successful the film was and how it could benefit their tourism industry.
Sacha Baron Cohen has a way of initially shocking most, resulting in a knee-jerk reaction of irrational backlash and censoring. However, as the dust settles, people start to see the joke in it all. It’s not like he’s not showing something we’ve all seen. He has a knack for exploiting the obvious in a hilarious way. He’s just saying the quiet thing loud.
Busta Rhymes was scheduled to perform in the UK in 2008, but the government had other ideas. Rhymes was stopped by immigration officials because of pending charges in the USA related to assault and weapon possession. It’s amazing how the American justice system turns an obvious blind eye to the things Hollywood folk do.
Their charges may get some publicity, but more often than not it just results with a slap on the hand and a few months of quiet time. Who knows what happens behind the scenes for those celebs who find themselves in hot water? Not us! Regardless, they get by with everything and anything with little to no consequences.
British singer Lily Allen had her visa to the USA revoked thanks to an assault incident with a photographer. To really rub salt in the wound, Allen was detained and questioned for hours by officials at LAX. We're sure the pop princess was about ready to give up the fame and attention at this point.
It seems like all celebrities at one point of another have a bad run in with a member of the paparazzi. Those pesky photographers find their way into every part of their lives. Relinquishing them of any form of privacy. The fame is fantastic for a while, however some stars find that enough is enough and take matters into their own hands.
Tyler the Creator
China may be the undisputed champion of hysterical bans, but New Zealand is giving them a real run for their money with this one! In 2014, rapper Tyler the Creator was banned from the country for "posing a threat to the public order and public interest." Whatever that means.
Apparently no one in New Zealand has ever heard a swear word, and authorities were worried citizens would be scandalized by the rapper's admittedly profane lyrics. Of all the profane entertainers, why in the world was Tyler the Creator singled out? It makes literally no sense. But hey, if it’s in the public’s interest, it is what it is.
Katy Perry's "music" may be a safety threat to your ears, but her outfits are usually harmless, if not gaudy. Well that's just not so in China! The American pop star icon had her Chinese visa denied after officials discovered pictures of her in a dress with sunflowers on it.
The totally reasonable and not-at-all-paranoid People's Republic expertly deduced that this fashion choice was a sly dig at their trade war with Taiwan--in which anti-China protestors used the sunflower as a symbol of resistance. God forbid someone wear something with sunflowers on it. We’re quite sure Katy’s teams eyes rolled right out the door at this one.
In a refreshing change of pace, the Chinese government banned Jay-Z from performing in the country for a ridiculous reason that didn't involve Tibet for once. Their complaint? His lyrics were too dirty. I'm sure they could have found some subliminal pro-Tibet messaging in his songs if they had looked hard enough, though.
Seems like they can pull a Tibet reference out of thin air when they want to. The people who approve or disapprove who gets to come to China must really, honestly, be paranoid to walk outside of their homes. Seriously, they must be on edge. If Jay Z’s lyrics cause a heart attack, imagine Meghan thee Stallion!
Oasis frontmen and brothers, Noel and Liam Gallagher, are probably most famous for very publicly hating each other. However, in 2009 the always-feuding siblings came together for an important cause--getting banned from China. A decade before, Noel had performed at a Tibet benefit concert, and if you haven't noticed a theme in this slideshow yet, China really (and we mean REALLY) hates when people have anything nice to say about the country.
If you haven’t heard of Oasis, they’re an English rock band straight out of the ‘90s! They’re one of the most successful bands from the UK and are one of the best selling bands of all time. You would think at least Oasis would have a chance to get into China, but no. They’re Tibetan stance earned them their place on the no-no list.
Russell Brand has been quite public with the bad decisions of his past--including drug use, run-ins with police, and marrying Katy Perry. In 2011, the past caught up with him when he was deported from Japan and banned. There's no doubt that Russell Brand is a little bit wild, so we're not shocked that he was given the boot.
Russell was deported by Japanese immigration in 2011 during the Asian stent of her California Dreams tour. Japanese immigration officials refused to disclose why Russell was deported, but it’s likely due to Russell’s history with drugs. Japan takes a strong stance against substance abuse, given information about his past, it makes sense that his deportation had much to do with his past addiction.
If you thought I've been too hard on other countries for the dumb bans, it's time to bring things back home to the United States. Until 2008, former South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was on the terrorist watch list for the United States and denied entry into the country.
And how did he make it onto the list? His political party was deemed a terrorist organization by the apartheid South African government he was fighting against. So, it seems a little suspicious that the U.S. would also ban Nelson Mandela because his own tyrannical government didn’t like him.