Beckhams under fire from Chinese

Chinese social media users quickly became outraged at Brooklyn Beckham's post, which they said had singled out the Asian tourists and suggested that they were not welcome in Italy.
Chinese social media users quickly became outraged at Brooklyn Beckham's post, which they said had singled out the Asian tourists and suggested that they were not welcome in Italy.PHOTO: WEIBO

Brooklyn Beckham, son of football superstar David Beckham, has scored an own goal after he drew flak online for remarks he made on Instagram.

Last Thursday, the 19-year-old posted two photos of Asian tourists in Italy on the social media platform. One showed a group sitting in a gondola, while the other was of a woman standing in a supermarket aisle.

Brooklyn, who has 11.4 million Instagram followers, had written in the caption: "No place like Italy innit."

Chinese social media users quickly became outraged at his post, which they said had singled out Asian tourists and suggested that they were not welcome in Italy.

Others were upset that he had taken the photos without their knowledge.

A user on Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo said: "Some people say that we are being too sensitive, but don't you see that this is clearly discrimination against Asians?

"If these were pictures of African-Americans in the United States, they would tear him apart... If we don't speak up for ourselves, we Asians will always be looked down upon."

Another user wrote: "A Briton in Italy saying it's not like Italy. Isn't that double standards?"

Others also pointed out that it is shameful that the Beckhams have links with China.

For instance, Brooklyn was the ambassador for Chinese mobile phone brand Huawei in 2016, while his father has promoted Chinese football and has multiple endorsements with Chinese brands.

Amid the backlash, David Beckham and his wife Victoria were not spared either, with many Weibo users flooding their social media accounts with comments bashing their son's behaviour.

Brooklyn's photos were posted during China's Golden Week holiday, which began on Oct 1 and typically marks a spike in travel abroad.

He has since deleted the post and set his Instagram account to private.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2018, with the headline 'Beckhams under fire from Chinese'. Print Edition | Subscribe