Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday May 13, 2020
Bryan Adams’s Instagram post draws rebukes from Chinese-Canadian organization, social media users
A prominent Chinese-Canadian activist says she is shocked, disappointed and angry about an Instagram post on Canadian singer Bryan Adams’s official account that she and others say is racist.
The post contains a snippet of Adams singing his hit song Cuts Like a Knife. An accompanying description expresses his frustration that COVID-19-related restrictions have led to the postponing of three shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
“Tonight was supposed to be the beginning of a tenancy of gigs at the @royalalberthall, but thanks to some f–king bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards, the whole world is now on hold,” the post read.
“My message to them other than ‘thanks a f–king lot’ is go vegan.”
Amy Go, president of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice called the post racist and believes it could stoke hatred of Chinese-Canadians.
“People look up to public figures. He is seen as an idol by many,” Go said. “It justifies this racist hatred against Chinese … This is so irresponsible and just so, so, so, so racist.”
As the coronavirus pandemic has spread, many have raised concerns about growing anti-Asian and anti-Chinese racism in Canada, with reports of anti-Asian hate crimes on the rise in Vancouver, including physical and verbal attacks.
But on Tuesday morning, the singer issued an apology on Instagram “to any and all that took offence” to his post. He said he just wanted to rant about “animal cruelty in the wet-markets being the possible source of the virus, and promote veganism.”
“I have love for all people and my thoughts are with everyone dealing with this pandemic around the world,” he wrote in the post.
As of 10 p.m. PT Monday, his original Instagram video had received more than 1,500 replies.
Many of the comments expressed love for his music and dismay he would not be touring, but dozens of others accused Adams of racism. (CBC)