On Tuesday May 11 2020, vegan Canadian singer/songwriter, Bryan Adams, posted a video on his Instagram page showcasing one of his older songs, “Cuts Like a Knife”. The tune was beautifully played and sung by Adams while playing his acoustic guitar. The caption he added to his post, was not very well thought out. It consisted of suggestive racism, profanity, and simply unacceptable behaviour. He made it clear in the beginning of his [written] caption that his intention was to let people know that he’s angry at the world because he won’t be able to perform at the Royal Labert Hall (boohoo) thanks to the pandemic. He states: “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” (@bryanadams/Instagram). After this revolting post, I wanted to explore the following thoughts: Was this a good way to represent the vegan community? Was his apology, which was written through yet another Instagram caption meaningful, or was it just a publicity stunt to get people off his back? What’s the future holding for Bryan Adams now?
Veganism and Its Influence
Vegans, like many other communities around the world, strongly believe in their lifestyle; no animal-derived products (meats, eggs, fish, dairy product). Many will avoid processed foods and opt for a healthier and greener way of eating and living. Vegans are also known for being very opinionated on this cause and they have, on multiple occasions, strongly expressed their thoughts when it comes to meat-eating. Let’s take a look at PETA, for example. People for the Ethical Treatments of Animals (PETA) describe their movement as “the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters”. This is an organization that claims to “oppose speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview”. Sounds like a peaceful organization, right? Unfortunately for PETA, they are very contradicting when it comes to their mission statement. The institution commented on Bryan Adams’ controversial Instagram post very misleading thoughts and possibly untrue facts.
Supremacy is described to be “the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status” (Oxford Dictionary). Claiming to oppose such an act (human supremacy), and yet, commenting on a post and supporting that individual’s misinformed, racist, supremacy-like and unhallowed thoughts seems quite confusing and unprofessional of this establishment. To have one of the largest firms that’s against animal-cruelty, human-supremacy and speciesism, publicly (and proudly) reply to Adams’ contentious Instagram caption, only seems to indicate that the vegan community wasn’t very sympathetic of the people that were directly affected by the Canadian celebrity’s false facts and accusations.
Sorry Not Sorry
Although Bryan Adams posted an inflaming caption attached to his guitar playing post on Instagram, he did come back to the social media platform the following day, with an “apology”. He opened his statement by promoting yet another song of his, “Into the Fire”. Here’s what followed: “Apologies to any and all that took offence to my posting yesterday. […] I have love for all people and my thoughts are with everyone dealing with this pandemic around the world” (@bryanadams/Instagram). It seems, to me at least, that the singer/songwriter’s attempt to express regret about his previous posting was very, very weak.
His insolent apology appeared to still try to validate his opinions shared the day before: “[…] I just wanted to have a rant about the horrible animal cruelty in these wet-markets being the possible source of the virus, and promote veganism” (@bryanadams/Instagram). Not only was he still trying to corroborate his thoughts from the preceding day’s post, but he’s still suggesting the cause of COVID-19 had sparked from China’s wet-markets (which has YET to be confirmed by scientists). To add the cherry on top of his “apology”, he closed off his statement by, once again, promoting his music and talking about his “would-have-been” performance at the Royal Labert Hall. Oh, and look at the hashtags; I think that says enough about how meaningful his apologies to the world were.
The World Speaks Up
So, what’s going to happen to Bryan Adams now? Unfortunately, he blocked everyone from being able to comment on his post of May 11 (weird, right?). Thankfully, the rest of the world was quick on their feet, and multiple screenshots of the comment section were saved and posted on multiple social media networks, broadcasting stations, and even news channels. Most of the world’s remarks were unsupportive, negative, and quite funny actually. Celebrities, doctors, and regular people were all partaking on sharing their piece of mind with Adams.
Dr. Wing Kar Li (@karliwithakay) shared the following thought on her Twitter account: “Bryan Adams’ racist xenophobic tirade has been up for 10 hours now. Damage has been done.”
“If Bryan Adams wants to blame my people for the pandemic then at the very least we get to blame him for making our elementary school dances tedious and tortuous,” wrote @JenSookfongLee.
These are only a few of the tweets and Instagram comments that were posted on multiple different social media networks since Adams’ post (negatively) blew up.
What’s the future holding for the Canadian singer/songwriter’s career now? Does he deserve to be forgiven for his elicit post and poor apology? Did the vegan community and other members that support the movement react properly to what he said? Should celebrities be appropriately held accountable, considering the fact they have an enormous influence on people’s opinions? I personally believe that everyone’s entitled to their own beliefs and school of thoughts, but I also stand by the fact that there are appropriate times, places, and ways in doing so. Unfortunately, Bryan Adams failed miserably in doing so.
- HT Entertainment Desk. “Bryan Adams rants about ‘bat eating, virus making greedy b**tards’ in new post, deletes tweet after being called racist”. Hindustan Times. 12 May 2020, 12:15 p.m., https://www.hindustantimes.com/music/bryan-adams-rants-about-bat-eating-virus-making-greedy-b-tards-in-new-post-deletes-tweet-after-being-called-racist/story-pSyV0qaZ9HQ8wqacFf7XeK.html
2. Jolinda Hackett. “What Is Veganism?”. The Spruce Eats. 31 Jan. 2020, https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-do-vegans-eat-3376824
3. Liam Britten. “Bryan Adams’s Instagram post draws rebukes from Chinese-Canadian organization, social media users”. CBC News. 11 May 2020, 10:15 p.m., https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bryan-adams-instagram-1.5565624
4. (No Attributed Author). “Timothy Caulfied”. Wikipedia. 9 May 2020, 5:28 p.m., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Caulfield