25 Celebrities Who Were Banned From Other Countries

Being a celebrity brings a myriad of opportunities for international travel, but it also comes with an increased level of scrutiny that can make things complicated. National governments are usually weary of stars who don’t understand their culture and may bring their own bad publicity with them.

In certain situations, a government can go so far as to ban the celebrity from their country altogether. These are a few of the famous names whose actions have run afoul of a foreign government, resulting in their bam from a certain country.

1. Chris Brown

Banned from: the U.K. and Australia

Chris Brown is wearing a cameo jacket as he accepts an award.

Chris Brown performs on stage at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. | Jason Kempin/Getty Images

  • Chris Brown’s physical abuse of Rihanna led to his ban from entry to the U.K. in 2011 and from Australia in 2015.
  • In response to the Australia ban, Brown took to Twitter, volunteering to start a domestic abuse awareness campaign in exchange for being allowed entry. Nothing ever became of that, and both nations still have a ban against Brown.

2. Martha Stewart

Banned from: the U.K.

Martha Stewart speaking in front of a crowd.

Martha Stewart | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

  • Martha Stewart’s 2004 felony charges (of conspiracy and obstruction of an agency proceeding) led to the denial of her  U.K. visa in 2008, when she had planned to deliver a speech at the Royal Academy.

3. Brad Pitt

Banned from: China

Brad Pitt speaking at a panel.

Brad Pitt | Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

  • Government officials in the People’s Republic of China banned the actor for the negative portrayal of Communist military officers and the positive depiction of the 14th Dalai Lama in Seven Years in Tibet.

4. Martin Scorsese

Banned from: China

Martin Scorsese in a tuxedo.

Martin Scorsese | Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images

  • Martin Scorsese’s Kundun gives a sympathetic account of the early life of the 14th Dalai Lama, which angered Chinese officials for whom the Lama is a rival political figure.
  • The nation threatened to restrict Disney’s access to their market, but banned Scorsese instead.

5. Miley Cyrus

Banned from: China and the Dominican Republic

Miley Cyrus laughing on the voice.

Miley Cyrus on The Voice | NBC

  • Already banned for an offensive photo where she’s shown slanting her eyes, Miley Cyrus was also barred from the Dominican Republic in 2014.
  • The government stated that Cyrus was known to “undertake acts that go against morals and customs, which are punishable by Dominican law.”

6. Lady Gaga

Banned from: Indonesia

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett on the red carpet at the grammys.

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett | Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

  • Lady Gaga’s revealing outfits didn”t go over well in the Muslim-majority nation of Indonesia.
  • The country banned the singer in 2012.

7. Snoop Dogg

Banned from: Norway

Snoop Dogg is on stage in a robe.

Snoop Dogg | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

  • Norway banned Snoop Dogg, after he got caught in July 201 with eight grams of marijuana and an undeclared $27,000 in cash.
  • That resulted in a two-year ban from traveling in the Scandinavian country.

8. Alec Baldwin

Banned from: Philippines

Alec Baldwin sits next to Tina Fey on 30 Rock.

Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock | NBC

  • During a May 2009 appearance, the actor joked on Late Night with David Letterman that he was thinking of getting a Filipino mail-order bride, which prompted government officials to issue a statement labeling Baldwin an “undesirable alien.”
  • He issued a general apology for his remarks, but the nation still didn’t remove him from its blacklist.

9. 50 Cent

Banned from: Canada

50 Cent talking at a panel.

50 Cent | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

  • In 2005, Canada banned 50 Cent from visiting, both for his previous criminal record and his songs’ alleged promotion of gun violence.
  • Toronto member of parliament, Dan McTeague, issued a statement at the time, stating, “I don’t think people in Toronto or any urban center need or want to hear Mr. Jackson’s message right now.”

10. The Beatles

Banned from: the Philippines

the beatles sitting and drinking coffee.

The Beatles | Fox Photos/Getty Images

  • During a 1966 visit to the Philippines, the band unintentionally turned down the former president’s invitation to his palace.
  • The Beatles allegedly didn’t receive the full details and so politely declined, sparking a political uproar that forced the musicians to flee the nation amidst angry jeers and vows never to return again.

11. Paris Hilton

Banned from: Japan

Paris Hilton attends her "Paris Electric Christmas" and poses in a silver dress on a red car

Paris Hilton | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tokyo denied entry to the heiress after her guilty plea to a misdemeanor drug charge.
  • The former reality star had to cancel her tour dates to promote her fashion and fragrance lines.

12. Beyoncé

Banned from: Malaysia

Beyonce Knowles and Heather Morris dancing at the American Music Awards.

Beyoncé Knowles dancing at the American Music Awards. | ABC

  • The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party basically forced the icon to cancel her 2007 Malaysian concert.
  • The reason? Many of the party members were offended by her dance routine, according to The Telegraph.

13. Sacha Baron Cohen

Banned from: Tajikistan and Kazakhstan

Sacha Baron Cohen posing on a beach in sunglasses and a green swim suit giving a thumbs up in Borat.

Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat | 20th Century Fox

  • Tajikistan and Kazakhstan banned the actor after the release of The Dictator and Borat.
  • The countries also banned the movies for their depiction of a murderous dictator and more.

14. Boy George

Banned from: the United States of America

Boy George is wearing a white top hat and in a patterned jacket as he sings.

Boy George | Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

  • The English singer had his visa denied by the U.S. after pleading guilty to falsely reporting a burglary, according to The Telegraph.
  • Strangely, he was also ordered to do community service, which included cleaning the streets of New York City around the same time.

15. Lily Allen

Banned from: the United States of America

Lily Allen has her arm around Alfie Allen.

Lily and Alfie Allen | Claire Greenway/Getty Images

  • The U.S. revoked the British pop star’s working visa after an alleged confrontation with a photographer.
  • The Los Angeles International Airport stopped the singer, according to The Telegraph.
  • Lily Allen was detained and questioned for five hours.

16. Akon

Banned from: Sri Lanka

Akon is smiling as he is sitting down.

Akon during a press event for CES 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

  • The rapper filmed a music video for the song “Sexy Chick,” which takes place at a raunchy pool party in front of a statue of Buddha.
  • There were violent protests regarding the video, leading to the refusal of Akon’s visa and his ban from Sri Lanka.
  • [I] am a spiritual man, so I can understand why they are offended,” he said, according to The Guardian. “But violence is never the answer and I am disheartened to hear about what happened in Sri Lanka.”

17. Selena Gomez

Banned from: Russia

Selena Gomez sings on stage as her hair is blowing in the wind.

Selena Gomez | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

18. Tyler, The Creator

Banned from: the U.K. and New Zealand

Tyler, The Creator onstage holding microphone to the side.

Tyler, The Creator | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

  • U.K. border patrol turned away the rapper after then-home secretary, Theresa May, banned him from the country, according to The Guardian.
  • New Zealand also banned the artist for being “a threat to the public order and the public interest” because of his lyrics.

19. Busta Rhymes

Banned from: the U.K.

Busta Rhymes is smiling wearing an all black outfit.

Busta Rhymes attends the 59th Grammy Awards. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

  • The rapper was stopped from entering the U.K. because he had unresolved convictions back in the U.S., according to MTV.
  • He was trying to go to a RockCorps event at the time, but had an assault and weapon possession charge.

20. Mike Tyson

Banned from: New Zealand

Mike Tyson in a suit looks at camera and shows off his face tattoo.

Mike Tyson at the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame induction gala in 2014. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

  • The former boxer had his visa canceled by New Zealand because of his rape conviction in 1992, according to The Guardian.
  • At the time, he was touring for a children’s charity.
  • Other countries on his tour, like Australia, allowed him entry.

21. Elton John

Banned from: Egypt

Elton John is in a red suit jacket and playing the piano on stage.

Elton John | Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for dcp

  • The singer was going to perform at a private concert in Egypt, but was stopped reportedly because he is gay, according to The Guardian.
  • The scheduled performance received overwhelming pushback, with a union even created for the purpose of stopping him.

22. Björk

Banned from: China

Bjork is on stage in a big black dress and an orange wig.

Björk | Malte Kristiansen/AFP/GettyImages

  • The Icelandic singer was banned from China after performing in the city of Shanghai, according to South China Morning Post.
  • During her last song, she began chanting “Tibet, Tibet,” which didn’t go over well with some of the crowd.

23. Jon Bon Jovi

Banned from: China

Jon Bon Jovi poses with Dorothea as they are sitting down next to each other.

Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley attend the Can Do Awards. | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

  • The frontman and his band were also banned from China after they used an image of the Dalai Lama as a backdrop while performing in Taiwan, according to The Guardian.
  • The incident also resulted in the cancellation of the group’s planned concert in Shanghai.

24. Justin Bieber

Banned from: Argentina

Justin Bieber is onstage with one arm up in the air.

Justin Bieber | Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images

  • The young singer allegedly assaulted a photographer in Argentina and was accused of disrespecting the country’s flag during a concert, according to Time magazine.
  • He couldn’t return to the country during his Purpose World Tour

25. Kesha

Banned from: Malaysia

Kesha poses on the red carpet in a black dress and purple hair.

Kesha | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Additional reporting by Nicole Weaver.

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