We’re always cautioned to be sensitive of others. But there can be such a thing as overly sensitive. Case in point: these Chinese netizens who felt insulted by Taiwanese singer Hebe Tian (田馥甄)’s innocent post.
The S.H.E member recently uploaded a simple post about her eating pasta. Unfortunately, netizens took things out of context and related it to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Needless to say, their reaction left many speechless.
For those not in the know, Nancy Pelosi, a speaker from the US has been visiting Asia on a tour. Pelosi has always been known for her critic of China and is an avid supporter of democracy. As such, when she included Taiwan in the tour, it brought her at odds with China, specifically Beijing. Currently, anything seen as support for Taiwan and Pelosi is being heavily condemned.
Unfortunately, singer Hebe Tian was dragged into the crossfire on 2nd August when she made an Instagram Story about eating pasta. Hebe had referred to the pasta as “Italian noodles (義大利麵)” which is apparently the correct term in Mandarin. Coincidently, Pelosi is of Italian descent. As such, many subsequently thought Hebe was declaring her support for Pelosi and therefore, Taiwan’s independence.
Netizens were quick to leave remarks about the singer, expressing their disappointment. “I liked Hebe for more than 10 years,” one reportedly said. “But (now) my childhood filter is gone.” Others urged Chinese netizens to block the singer on their socials. Several even demanded Hebe explain herself and her food choice. A few fans did speak up for Hebe, pointing out how ridiculous it was to flame the singer over spaghetti. Some even observed that it was easy to get cancelled, especially in this day and age.
Hebe has since deleted the story. However, many are still up-in-arms over the innocuous post. The singer also has yet to address the issue. But, some feel there is no real need for her to do so. Well, after that fiasco, we’re sure many will be keeping their heads down to avoid more drama.
Update (8th August; 5pm):
After gunning for Hebe Tian’s pasta, netizens are now going after her work. According to them, Hebe’s song “Small Island (離島)” from 12 years ago alludes to cross-straits relations. As such, Hebe’s song has been removed from major music apps in China. However, some netizens are dissatisfied and are claiming she should be blocked entirely. Hebe has not remarked on the matter.