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'No excuse': Bryan Adams apologizes for coronavirus rant slammed as racist
TORONTO -- Canadian rock star Bryan Adams has apologized to “any and all” who were offended by his expletive-laden rant blaming “bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards” for the global coronavirus epidemic.
“No excuse, I just wanted to have a rant about the horrible animal cruelty in these wet-markets being the possible source of the virus, and promote veganism,” he explained in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
The singer went on to say he has “love for all people” and his thoughts are with “everyone dealing with this pandemic around the world.”
Adams sparked intense online criticism and was accused of being racist in a social media post about the coronavirus he shared on Monday.
In the post, the musician shared a video of himself singing an acoustic version of his song “Cuts Like a Knife” on Twitter and Instagram.
In text accompanying the video, he lamented that he was supposed to begin a concert residency at the Royal Albert Hall in London, “but thanks to some (expletive) bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards, the whole world is now on hold.”
He then went on to say that his “message to them” is “thanks a (expletive) lot” and to “go vegan.”
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has drawn a link between a wet market in Wuhan, China and the novel coronavirus, it’s still not clear if it was the original source of the virus’ transmission to humans or just a played a role in amplifying its spread.
It’s also still unknown if the virus came from bats, as early studies have suggested.
In the rock star’s follow-up post on Tuesday, Adams alluded to the controversy he incited when he introduced the “appropriately titled” song “Into the Fire,” which he was supposed to sing at Royal Albert Hall that night.
Earlier on Tuesday, the well-known Chinese-Canadian activist Amy Go, the president of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, said she was “very angry” by the “racist and hateful” comments Adams made online. She said it was clear the singer was referring to Chinese people in his post, even though he didn’t explicitly use the word.
“Everybody knew that he was referring to Chinese and what he was doing was emboldening and justifying all the racist actions that have been taken against Chinese,” she told CTV News Channel on Tuesday.
Go said she’s frustrated by his comments because he’s a public figure with many fans who idolize him. She said those fans will now be exposed to his opinions about the pandemic and may even agree with him.
“I think it’s unfortunate that we have someone like him, in his position, would have such hateful, thoughtless, I hope it’s thoughtless, views about Chinese-Canadians and Chinese,” she said.
When asked if she thought the celebrity should face any consequences for his remarks, particularly because he is a member of the Order of Canada, Go said she thinks the honour should be reconsidered for him.
“I hope that our prime minister and all leaders, political leaders, will call out against him and his racist rant and also demand an apology from him,” she said.
“For him, he should actually consider his impact and really think about being outspoken against racism so that he can make amends and in fact, hope to change this cause of racism.”
Adams' tirade received immediate backlash online with many commenters accusing the 60-year-old singer of being racist and anti-Asian.
“I was today old when I found out Bryan Adams is a racist,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Was a big fan and always was the Asian boy singing Bryan Adam's...now I find out he is racist against Asians...,” another former fan said.
In one popular comment on Twitter, someone revised the lyrics to Adams’ hit song “Summer of ’69” to reflect the new controversy.
“Wrote my first real racist tweet / my career already in decline / blaming the Chinese for my lack of income / was the summer of COVID one-nine,” the user wrote.
While the tweet was deleted, the rant remained visible on his Instagram account on Tuesday morning. The comments section on the post was disabled, however.
CTVNews.ca has reached out to Bryan Adams’ management team for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
While the overwhelming majority of comments appeared to criticize the rock star for his rant, there were some who jumped to his defence, claiming that his remarks were aimed at promoting veganism.
“Bryan Adams is a die-hard vegan and animal rights activist. So, knowing that, why is everyone jumping to ‘racism’ to explain this tweet?” one person said.
Adams himself said he was just trying to “promote veganism” with his rant in his new Instagram post on Tuesday.