Rock star Bryan Adams has apologised after posting an expletive-laden coronavirus rant on social media.
On Monday, he wrote: “Thanks to some bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy [expletives], the whole world is now on hold.”
Many interpreted the star’s comments as anti-Asian or anti-Chinese, but he was praised by some animal rights groups.
“Apologies to any and all that took offence to my posting yesterday,” Adams said in a new post on Tuesday.
“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 added: “I have love for all people and my thoughts are with everyone dealing with this pandemic around the world.”
The singer was due to be performing in London this week, before lockdown measures came into force.
After his original comments were published, the Canadian singer was criticised by Amy Go, president of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice.
“This is so irresponsible and just so, so, so, so racist,” she told CBC News. “People look up to public figures. He is seen as an idol by many.”
Go suggested Adams’ comments would intensify “racist hatred against Chinese”.
Many people believe wet markets in Wuhan, China, were the the original source of coronavirus.
Wet markets have become a familiar sight in many countries in Southeast Asia, particularly mainland China. They sell live fish, chickens and wildlife, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Last Friday, the World Health Organisation said one such market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan played a role in the outbreak either as the source or possibly as an “amplifying setting”, while stressing more research on the link was necessary.
‘Damage has been done’
Adams’ original comments came on the night he was supposed to start a three-night residency at London’s Albert Hall.
“Tonight was supposed to be the beginning of a tenancy of gigs… but thanks to some [expletive] bat-eating, wet-market animal-selling, virus-making greedy [expletives], the whole world is now on hold, not to mention the thousands that have suffered or died from this virus,” he wrote.
“My message to them other than ‘thanks a [expletive] lot’ is go vegan.”
A link to the post has since been deleted from his Twitter account, but Adams’ original statement remains on his Instagram page. By Tuesday morning, his name was trending on social media.
“Wow. What racist garbage coming from someone I respected,” wrote Instagram user @globalcanuck.
“Bryan Adams’ racist xenophobic tirade has been up for 10 hours now. Damage has been done,” added Dr Wing Kar Li on Twitter.
However, animal rights group Peta applauded Adams’ promotion of veganism.
“This is why its crucial for everyone to go vegan now to prevent the next pandemic,” it wrote in a reply to the star’s Instagram post.
“It’s up to us to create a kinder, healthier future for all species.”