Celebrities Who Got Banned In Foreign Countries For Dumb Reasons

Celebrities Who Got Banned In Foreign Countries For Dumb Reasons

Considering the average famous person's propensity for lewd and lascivious drunkitude, profanitizing, nip slippage and so forth, it's not particularly shocking that a few of them sometimes get declared persona non grata by some of the world's more straight-laced and button-downed societies. But there are also occasions wherein a celebrity gets slapped on a blacklist for reasons that seem arbitrary or perhaps the work of some petty bureaucrat who hated their last movie/song/sex tape. Like when ...

Alec Baldwin Was Banned From The Philippines For A Comment About Mail Order Brides

Alec, the puffiest of the fraternal order of Baldwins, has proved repeatedly that he's both the most accomplished thespian in the family as well as the one with the least chill. So when he joked about getting himself a Filipina mail order bride on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2009, it was so minor in terms of the foolish things he could have theoretically said that most people didn't bat an eye.

The government of the Philippines, however, batted a great many eyes and then took an entirely different if metaphorical bureaucratic bat to his ability to cross their borders by deeming him an "undesirable alien." Even after a (half-assed) public apology in which Baldwin explained that he was merely referencing his desire to "achieve the goal of having more children," the immigration authorities of the Southeast Asian archipelago placed him on their official blacklist.

Things got so heated that Philippine senator and fellow actor Ramon Revilla, Jr. shot back that any woman who married Baldwin would be "unlucky" to do so and "there will be trouble" he ever set foot in their lands. Seeing as how Baldwin was already divorced and had yet to remarry, it's unclear if Revilla was referring to the possibility of a curse. If this is indeed the case, Baldwin should probably take the threat very seriously. After all, the Beatles were banned from the Philippines, too, and at least half of those guys are totally dead now.

Akon Was Banned From Sri Lanka For Mixing Buddha And Booties

As a man who famously tried "to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful" and settled on "Sexy Bitch," you could say that Akon has some issues with self-awareness. Case in point: The music video for that song, which featured a number of indeed lovely women, one of whom is seen at one point moving her booty toward a decorative Buddha statue in a manner that Akon presumably couldn't take no more.

Celebrities Who Got Banned In Foreign Countries For Dumb Reasons
Virgin-EMI Records
Offerings are common in Buddhism, but flowers and incense are typically preferred to "Dat ass."

If she moved 10 feet in any direction, it would have been just fine, but she kind of presented her butt to a god, who seems annoyed about the whole situation. Sri Lanka couldn't let that fly, so they couldn't let Akon fly -- literally. They denied him a visa to enter the country for a concert that was scheduled to take place there in March 2010 after hundreds of protestors attacked the offices of the local TV network that had sponsored the concert. They threw rocks, smashed windows, destroyed parked cars, and injured four network employees. We're by no means religious scholars, but that doesn't seem like, to borrow a phrase from an entirely different world religion, What Buddha Would Do.

For his part, Akon appeared genuinely upset by the turn of events, claiming he didn't even know there was a Buddha statue in his video. Bless his heart.

Fred Durst And Steven Seagal Are So Pro-Russia They're Banned From The Ukraine

If you were prone to severe understatement, you could say that US-Russia relations have been a little up and down over the past century or so. Throw in the Russian, erm, "expansion" into different territories and then whatever's going on now between President Donald Trump and the President of Ukraine, and it's fair to say it's a time when feather-touch diplomacy and cool heads are needed. Instead, America has allowed its most brick-like human, Fred Durst, to throw himself through the window of issues such as the Russian annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine.

Bahadir Aydin/Shutterstock
If there's one person we trust on international diplomacy, it's the guy who behaves like a can of 4Loko that came to life and immediately dropped out of 10th grade.

You couldn't be faulted for assuming Fred Durst had no thoughts on any subject more complicated than nacho cheese recipes, but the Red Cap sided with the Red Star in some he-said-she-said bullshit that left the Ukraine informing Durst that he "can't have both of us" when he never should have been allowed to have either of them. Durst, whose ex-wife is a Ukrainian native from Crimea, expressed his desire to obtain a Russian passport and make movies in Crimea but later took it back, claiming love for both sides. Let's take a moment to pour one out for the amazing article that would have resulted from Fred Durst's Crimean cinematic masterpieces.

Speaking of crimes against film, Steven Seagal is another American banned from Ukraine due to his history of publicly backing Russia and its military maneuvers. Seagal travelled to the region in 2014 to play with his almost certainly terrible blues band, allegedly because "music unites people." That's a nice sentiment, but he was playing at a pro-Russia rally in what was until recently part of the Ukraine, and the event was organized by that bastion of all that is peaceful, a biker club.

Celebrities Who Got Banned In Foreign Countries For Dumb Reasons
We can see the movie posters now: "Steven Seagal IS Hard 2 Make Sense Of."

In case performing on a stage adorned by Russian Separatist flags left anyone unclear on where he stood, Seagal gave a 2,000-word interview to a Russian state newspaper calling the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine "very reasonable." Photo ops with Putin and citizenship followed before Ukraine had enough and banned him from entering their beleaguered nation.

The U.S. Suspected Cat Stevens Of Terrorism

Betcha didn't expect to see us here, huh? Indeed, the land of the free has many "whoa there, not for you" clauses. Famous people tend to get a pass there just as they do everywhere else in society, but not Cat Stevens, who was barred from the United States from 2004 to 2006. Though no official details were given, the TSA cited concerns about "national security." About Cat Stevens. The guy who listens to the wind of his soul, has been known to be followed by a moonshadow, and will always remember you like a child, girl.

Celebrities Who Got Banned In Foreign Countries For Dumb Reasons
Bryan Ledgard/flickr
We really hope that someone in the TSA just really hated "Wild World" instead of what is obviously coming next.

On a totally unrelated side note, Cat Stevens, who is famous for some of the greatest peace anthems of the '70s, also famously converted to the Muslim faith and changed his name to Yusuf Islam. But that probably had nothing to do with it when he discovered on a 2004 trip from London to Washington, D.C. that he was on the no-fly list. As a result, his plane was diverted to Bangor, Maine (which is apparently more expendable), where he was detained, questioned, and sent back to London due to activities "potentially related to terrorism." He was actually traveling to the U.S. to meet up with Dolly Parton because she had recently recorded his song "Peace Train," which raises the question: What does the DHS think Dolly Parton is up to?

It was an incident of potential profiling that many Muslim travelers had endured, but thanks to his fame and activism, Stevens' cause was taken up by the United Nations, where the British Foreign Secretary declared in a charming accent that the action "should not have been taken." Two years later, when Stevens tried again to befoul the purple mountains' majesty with his heretical message of peace and love, he got into the States with no problem. When asked, he said that "no reason was ever given," but being a serene kind of guy, he excused the incident as likely a harmless case of mistaken identity. Then he wrote a song that he sang with Paul McCartney about how much the border police suck, because you can be a gentle man of God and a musical revolutionary at the same damn time.

E. Reid Ross has a book called BIZARRE WORLD that's on store shelves as we speak, or you could just order it now from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and leave a scathing/glowing review. Kyle Siemens writes and draws stuff he hopes is motivational. Come be inspired here. Christian Markle wants you to check out these cute comic strips. Alan is on Twitter and writes about podcasts here.

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