English pop star Dua Lipa said Thursday that she’s “horrified” that multiple fans were forcibly removed from her concert in Shanghai the previous night.
The “New Rules” singer, who took the stage for the final stop of her China tour on Wednesday, became visibly upset when security personnel ejected a handful of concertgoers from the venue.
Some claimed that people were removed for not staying seated, while others said guards targeted a group waving LGBTQ flags during the show, according to BBC. Social media users shared footage that appeared to show staff pulling one person out of their seat and forcing another out of the arena.
Dua Lipa addressed the incident before closing the show, fighting back tears as she encouraged fans to try their best to enjoy the remaining songs.
“I want us all to dance, I want us all to sing, I want us all to just have a really good time,” she told the crowd. “I would love in these last few songs for us to really, really, really enjoy ourselves. How about that?”
Video of a scuffle between the guards and one person was later shared on Twitter, showing the guards kicking and yelling at the unidentified individual.
A woman at the concert told the BBC that the security staff and police were being “heavy-handed” and “aggressive.”
In an Instagram note posted Thursday, Dua Lipa wrote that she’d love to return to the city one day and “see a room full of rainbows.”
“I will stand by you all for your love and beliefs and I am proud and grateful that you felt safe enough to show your pride at my show,” she wrote. “What you did takes a lot of bravery. I always want my music to bring strength, hope and unity.”
“I was horrified by what happened and I send love to all my fans involved,” she added.
While the singer’s note seems to indicate the fans were booted for being pro-LGBTQ, it’s unclear exactly why they were removed.
Although homosexuality was nixed from China’s official list of mental disorders in 2001, LGBTQ people there have few legal protections against discrimination and still face widespread social disapproval and harassment.
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