CHINA TOPIX

Updated 2:00 PM EDT, Wed, May 20, 2020

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Wang Leehom’s "Chinked-out" Lyrics Deemed Insulting to Chinese people

A Chinese pop star, Wang Leehom, riled up the Internet after he sent a Weibo message which was perceived to belittle Chinese people, Taiwan media reported on Thursday.

In the controversial Weibo post, Wang attached a photo of himself in yellow T-shirt, wearing sunglasses, and posing a victory gesture with the message, "bring chinked-out to the world. New York performance tomorrow."

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A large number of Chinese netizens reacted unfavorably to the message, particularly to the word "Chink", which they said belittled Chinese people.

Wang's agent responded saying those were just "lyrics" and requested people not to read too much meaning to it.

Some netizens insisted that the word "Chink" that Wang used was an insult to Chinese people.  Supportive fans explained that the past tense of "Chink" Wang used with the word "out" showed that the time of "Chink" is already over, meaning Chinese people are not "Chink" anymore.

Wang's company Homusic explained that "bring chinked-out to the world" is a lyrical phrase of "Heroes of Earth", meaning to bring Chinese pop music to the world. Wang said that his performance in New York happened to hold the same view of the lyrics. He hoped Chinese netizens can understand the real meaning of the lyrics and not take them literally.

The lyrics of "chinked-out" Wang wrote in 2004 were meant to present his new music style. The lyrics already brought dissatisfaction to a lot of Chinese people in the Mainland at that time. Wang had clarified in a CNN interview that he was not offending anybody, and that the new music style presented Chinese Hip-Hop music culture.

Ten years after, the same dissatisfaction resurfaced over the chinked-out lyrics. 

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