Religious conservatives in Indonesia want Lady Gaga to tone down her concert -- or cancel it entirely
Police in Indonesia, after refusing a permit for Lady Gaga to perform in Jakarta, said Friday they were considering an offer from her local promoters to tone down the pop superstar's racy show.
However, while the promoters indicated that a deal was being hammered out, the US singer's own management has vowed no compromise to appease religious conservatives or censors.
Jakarta police said last week they would not give a green light to the June 3 show after Islamic hardliners threatened chaos if the singer entered Indonesia, meaning she has so far been unable to obtain a permit to perform.
"We have received a document outlining an agreement by the promoters Big Daddy, which says Lady Gaga's concert will respect Indonesian culture," Jakarta police spokesman Rikwanto, who goes by one name, told AFP.
He said they would evaluate the offer and if they agreed with all the terms, they hoped to sign it Friday and forward it to the national police, which has the authority to issue the permit.
"They said that Lady Gaga would wear more appropriate clothes and change some of her lyrics and dance moves in a way that will be acceptable in Indonesia," he said.
As hopes for the concert were reignited, hundreds of Islamic hardliners protested in various spots in the capital, including the US embassy and national police headquarters.
"America is the father of demons because it is fathering Lady Gaga," a protestor shouted through a loudspeaker outside the US embassy.
At police headquarters, protesters burned posters depicting the singer -- a vocal gay rights advocate -- with devil fangs and horns and branded with the words "Go to hell".
Members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which spearheaded the campaign against Lady Gaga, said in a statement handed out at the protests that it would "burn the stage" if the star performs.
"Let's crush liberals! Let's fight gays and lesbians!" the statement said.
The promoters of the "The Born This Way Ball" show in Jakarta have sold more than 50,000 tickets.
While Big Daddy did not confirm an actual compromise offer to the police, they said they were working with "related parties" to come up with a solution.
"If a permit for the concert in Jakarta is issued, Lady Gaga's party is committed to respecting the local culture and values in Indonesia," Big Daddy spokesman Arif Ramadhoni told reporters.
Ramadhoni told AFP that Big Daddy was in "constant communication with Lady Gaga's management".
"Her team has been cooperative. They said they will respect Indonesian culture without losing the spectacular and majestic aspects of the show," he said.
However, the star's manager Troy Carter said in Singapore on Thursday that Lady Gaga would not tone down any upcoming concerts, after protests from Christian groups in the Philippines and South Korea.
He said the 26-year-old singer, whose global hits include "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", would rather cancel shows than make enforced changes to her flamboyant act.
Asked specifically whether she was prepared to compromise on issues like her wardrobe in Indonesia, Carter said: "That's not actually true. I think that's something that the promoters and the organisers want to offer to the religious groups.
"But you know the religious groups, they basically don't want her stepping foot on the soil. We play the show as it is. It's a very specific show, it's a very specific audience."
Lady Gaga was in Bangkok Friday for her latest concert, and her management team could not immediately be reached for further comment.
Indonesia's national police force said last week it would not grant Lady Gaga permission to perform without the Jakarta police's approval.
That decision was met with a public backlash, with critics accusing authorities of buckling to bigotry and intolerance.
The decision also triggered debate among the country's leaders on foreign influences on Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation. Ninety percent of its 240 million people identify themselves as Muslim.
After Bangkok on Friday, Lady Gaga will play three shows in Singapore next week. She was due to play in Jakarta after that, before flying south to New Zealand and Australia, and then to Europe.