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Canadian rocker Bryan Adams faces backlash over 'racist' COVID-19 post

The 'Cuts Like a Knife' singer said in Twitter and Instagram posts that his gigs at the Royal Albert Hall were nixed thanks to 'bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards.'

FILE: Bryan Adams performs during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games 2017 at Air Canada Centre on 30 September 2017 in Toronto, Canada. Picture: AFP

OTTAWA - Canadian rocker Bryan Adams faced a backlash and accusations of anti-Chinese racism Tuesday over his online rant about the pandemic forcing the cancellation of his London shows this week.

The Cuts Like a Knife singer said in Twitter and Instagram posts that his gigs at the Royal Albert Hall were nixed thanks to "bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards."

He went on to say that "the whole world is now on hold, not to mention the thousands that have suffered or died from this virus," admonishing the Chinese to "go vegan."

View this post on Instagram

CUTS LIKE A KNIFE. A song by me. Tonight was supposed to be the beginning of a tenancy of gigs at the @royalalberthall, but thanks to some fucking 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. My message to them other than “thanks a fucking lot” is go vegan. 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. I’ll be performing a snippet from each album we were supposed to perform for the next few days. X❤️ #songsfromisolation #covid_19 #banwetmarkets #selfisolation #bryanadamscutslikeaknife #govegan🌱

A post shared by Bryan Adams (@bryanadams) on

While animal rights groups praised his call to stop eating meat, others interpreted the expletive-laced comments as anti-Chinese.

"This is so irresponsible and so racist," Amy Go of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice told AFP.

"He's a Canadian idol and he's fanning the flames of anti-Chinese racism, and contributing to an increase in hateful taunts and blatant (physical) attacks on Chinese and Asian people in Canada and around the world," she said.

Others called his remarks "racist garbage."

Wet markets sell fresh food and produce, including farmed animals and wildlife.

One such market is Wuhan, China was identified last week by the World Health Organization as having been a possible source or "amplifying setting" of the outbreak.

The recent rise of anti-Chinese rhetoric and violence linked to the pandemic is only anecdotal but there are a myriad of cases reported online.

Go cited, for example, the recent experience of a 92-year-old man thrown out of a Vancouver convenience store and onto the sidewalk by the shopkeeper simply because he is of Chinese descent.

A Chinese-Canadian woman was also punched in the face in an unprovoked attack while waiting last week at a downtown bus stop in the Pacific coast metropolis.

Adams has since deleted the tweet but his message remained on Instagram.

In it he also said he missed his band or "other family" while in self-isolation with his wife and children.