Taiwanese singer Jay Chou has publicly released an apology video after shouting at a security staffer during a concert in the mainland Chinese city of Xi’an.
After seeing the staff member seize a neon sign from a fan and place it on the floor on Sunday, Chou initially spoke calmly on the microphone: “You are controlling crowd safety, why are you throwing away my fan’s sign?”
He later shouted at the staffer to “get out.”
Chou’s words caused a stir in Chinese social media, with rumours spreading that the security staffer was actually a police officer, though the singer’s agency denied this.
Weibo users republished comments purportedly written by a police officer sitting in the front row of the concert: “Maintaining stability, disaster rescue, anti-terrorism, protecting justice – none of these are things that you, as a singer, can do by singing several songs. Know your place!”O
Others disagreed with the security staffer’s actions. “Don’t police officers also have to review their uncivilised behaviour while enforcing the law?” asked Guo Dongjian, a Fujian-based lawyer, on Weibo. He added that suspects had been tortured while detained by police officers in mainland China.
Chou wrote a brief apology on his Weibo account the same night, claiming he only shouted at the staffer because he felt sorry for the fan. He then released an apology video the following day.
“I should not have been so impulsive to say these things,” he said in the clip. “I am very sorry.”
He added that he also sent a letter of apology to the “security headquarters.”
The Chinese state-run CCTV network said on Monday that Chou should not have told the staffer to “get out,” but praised the singer for apologising, saying that it was impossible for pop stars not to make mistakes.
It told viewers to learn a lesson from the incident: not to impulsively voice their opinions, especially online, before facts are clarified. “Can we allow emotions to take a backseat in favour of rationality?” asked a presenter.
Though he hails from Taiwan, Chou has stated he is Chinese and thus performs without government interference in mainland China – unlike other artists accused of being in favour of Taiwanese independence.
Apology videos from pop stars following infractions are a common occurrence in Asia. They have attracted attention over the past year, however, after a number of overseas stars recorded videos apologising to China following perceived political wrongs.
Last year, Japanese actress Kiko Mizuhara issued an apology video after being accused of “liking” an Instagram photo of a person making an insult at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Taiwanese singer Chou Tzu-yu also issued an apology video after waving the flag of the Republic of China – Taiwan’s formal governing state – in a music video immediately prior to the island’s presidential elections.