Bryan Adams is facing backlash for a rant against China and the coronavirus that many are calling racist. The Canadian singer posted an expletive-ridden video about his concerts that were canceled by the coronavirus pandemic. In the caption of the Instagram video of himself playing his 1983 hit "Cuts Like a Knife" on guitar, Adams bemoaned a series of canceled concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London, blaming it on wet market vendors in China.
"Tonight was supposed to the the beginning of a tenancy of gigs at the Royal Albert Hall, but thanks to some f—ing bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards, 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 f—ing lot' is go vegan." Some people believe wet markets in Wuhan, China, were the original source of the novel coronavirus. However, there is no confirmed connection between COVID-19 and the Wuhan wet markets; the CDC lists the exact source of the virus, which has its origin in bats, as "unknown."
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"To all the people missing out on our shows, I wish I could be there more than you know. It's been great hanging out in isolation with my children and family, but I miss my other family, my band, my crew and my fans. Take care of yourselves and hope we can get the show on the road again soon," Adams concluded.
The post immediately drew criticism on social media and trended on Twitter Monday night and Tuesday morning. Users pointed out that "bat eating" and wet markets have become xenophobic talking points fueling anti-Chinese racism since the rise of the coronavirus in the United States, after early reports suggested that the first patients were exposed at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China.
While a number of the earliest cases of the disease were found in people who had frequented the wet market in Wuhan, numerous other early cases were in people who didn't frequent the market. That is one of the factors that have led others to suggest that the virus came from one of two Wuhan laboratories studying coronavirus in bats, either in a manmade form or via a lapse in the biosecurity of animal specimens. The scientific community has near-unanimously rejected the idea it could have been manmade.
Adams has consistently released music since this breakthrough in the early 1980s, with his commercial peak coming in 1991 with the single "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You," which is still the longest-running UK No. 1. The song also peaked at No. 1 in the US, along with "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" in 1995, "All For Love" in 1994 and "Heaven" in 1985. In 2019, he released the album Shine a Light, which reached No. 2 in UK charts.