To say that singers Eason Chan and Jolin Tsai’s COVID-19 song didn’t sit well with the online community would be quite the understatement.
‘Fight as One’, an English song encouraging the world to stand up against COVID-19, is on the fast track to becoming one of the most disliked COVID-19 collaborations ever. At the time of writing, its music video has 35K dislikes compared to 8K likes on YouTube.
So why is it so hated when other COVID-19 song collabs, like JJ Lin and Stefanie Sun’s ‘Stay With You’, have been very well-received?
The music video of the four-minute music song, which reminds people that “we need to fight together as one” and “a fight for everyone, no matter where you're from”, featured images of exhausted front-line workers as well as quarantined families holding positive messages. The vid ended with people releasing sky lanterns into the dark sky, supposedly sending their well-wishes to the world.
Sounds heartwarming, right? But something didn't sit quite right with netizens who noticed images of foreign children apparently cheering China on at the 2:45 mark.
According to netizens, one child was holding on to a hand-painted drawing which read: “Thank you China for your support.”
That image alone set off a wave of harsh criticism, with netizens accusing the music video to be “Chinese propaganda”.
“What do you mean “Thank you China”? Aren’t they the ones who hid the virus for a month and caused this epidemic?” wrote one netizen. “Thanks for what? Thanks China for spreading the coronavirus around the world?” commented another.
Since the song's debut on April 3, the backlash has been loud and constant. Even the lyrics of the song did not go unscrutinised, and netizens were furious about one verse in particular:
“It's really not that bad if you think about it
For once the world has come together
Could've been much worse, you think about it
At least we're not fighting one another.”
“I don't know how "this is not that bad". It is that bad,” one netizen lashed out.
“'Could've been much worse, you think about it…' How ironic. Things could have been less serious if you think about it had China not lied about this,” condemned another.
In addition to criticising the music video, netizens also have not-so-nice things to say about Eason and Jolin, who are from Hongkong and Taiwan respectively.
“They deliberately hired two famous singers from Hongkong and Taiwan,” one netizen pointed out, claiming that the vid is “Chinese propaganda” to show that Taiwan, Hongkong and China are one country.
Jolin has since addressed the issue, thanking those who stood by her despite the controversy.
“I feel insignificant at the moment. No matter what happens in the future, I would still like to thank my fans deeply. Thank you for standing by me throughout my career, those who have encouraged me during my difficult times... Maybe, there will come a time when you feel that you no longer need me, and don’t remember me anymore. But I always believe that life itself is a gift. But as of now, I will give my best effort to continue living my life, no matter if I’m laughing, crying or singing… Thank you to all those who have appeared in my life. Remember to live for yourself,” she wrote.