Ariana Grande’s track ‘Love Me Harder’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ have been banned in Indonesia for being too “pornographic”.
A selection of Western pop tracks including Ariana’s 2014 duet with The Weeknd from her second studio album ‘My Everything’ and 28-year-old Ed’s 2017 record from his album ‘Divide’ have been deemed “obscene” and subsequently banned in Indonesia’s West Java province – which is an extremely conservative area of the country – just two months before Ed is due to play in the city of Jakarta.
Speaking to Tempo, Rahmat Arifin – deputy head of the Broadcasting Commission in West Java – said: “In this case, what is banned is not the songs, but the lyrics of the songs that contain pornography, pornographic association, and obscenity.”
The West Java Broadcasting Commission singled out 85 songs, including 17 English language pop songs, which they claim include offensive adult content.
An official memorandum by the Commission head, Dedeh Fardiah, also explained that some of the lyrics in the banned tracks could be interpreted as “objectifying women as sexual objects”. The broadcasting company insisted that the list is more of a guideline than a regulation, however, they have warned that radio and TV stations could be sanctioned if they fail to comply.
Other tracks included on the list of banned songs are The Killers’ ‘Mr. Brightside’, DJ Khaled’s ‘Wild Thoughts’, Bruno Mars’ ‘That’s What I Like’ and Sigrid’s ‘Plot Twist’, which should not be played or broadcast on air between 10 pm and 3 am.
Sheeran will be performing at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Indonesia on May 3, 2019.