The singer returned last year with her eighth record, which is the follow-up to 2021’s ‘Dancing With The Devil… The Art Of Starting Over’. The album artwork shows Lovato posing in a bondage-style outfit, looking at the camera while atop a cushioned crucifix.
Posters bearing that same artwork with an “album out now” tagline were placed in six locations across London at the time but were pulled down four days later (via Clash).
Now, it seems that the promotional poster has been banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in part because it was “likely to cause offence to Christians”.
— The Drum (@TheDrum) January 11, 2023
ASA has upheld complaints that the advertisement would cause “serious or widespread offence” and that it was “irresponsibly placed where children could see it”.
However, Humanist UK have hit out at the ruling, calling it “a de facto ban on blasphemy” in a new statement.
Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson said in a statement: “Regardless of what anyone may think of the language used in Lovato’s advert, or its appropriateness for children, religious offence should never be grounds to ban an advert.
“It’s been fifteen years since anti-blasphemy laws in England and Wales were repealed, yet since then the ASA has continued to enforce a de facto ban on blasphemy by banning adverts for this reason. This is an unacceptable stifling of the right to freedom of expression.”
Lovato hasn’t commented publicly on the move.
Last year, Lovato said that she had started using both she/her and they/them pronouns after coming out as non-binary in 2021 and initially going by the latter terms.
In an interview on the Spout podcast, Lovato told host Tamara Dhia that she’d started to use feminine pronouns in addition to neutral ones as time progressed.
“For me, I’m such a fluid person when it comes to my gender, my sexuality, my music,” she said.
“Especially last year, my energy was balanced in my masculine and feminine energy. When I was faced with the choice of walking into a bathroom and it said ‘women’ and ‘men,’ I didn’t feel like there was a bathroom for me,” Lovato said.