The Chainsmokers backtrack over racially insensitive 'joke' about China

Duo were criticised for a comment that appeared to be about Chinese people eating dogs

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 12 September 2017 09:00 BST
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The Chainsmokers have been criticised over a racially insensitive comment about China
The Chainsmokers have been criticised over a racially insensitive comment about China

Electronic music duo The Chainsmokers have issued a statement after reportedly making a controversial joke about people eating dogs in China.

Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart visited Shanghai to perform in electronic music festival Ultra China, after which they posted a promotional video from their trip on Twitter.

In the video, which has since been deleted, Pall made what has been interpreted as a joke about Chinese people eating dogs.

In the captioned clip, which was screengrabbed by Buzzfeed News, an interviewer asked Pall if he brought his dog with him on tour.

Pall responded by saying that he tries, but she [the dog] is badly behaved, otherwise he would bring her everywhere if he could.

He then said: "Well, I don't know if I'd bring her to China."

Pall appeared to laugh, and it looked as though Taggart found the statement amusing as well.

The Chainsmokers laugh after Alex Pall's comment about not wanting to bring his dog to China

The interviewer, who was Asian, put his hand over his mouth.

While the video was not on Twitter for long, it caused a huge backlash, with one person writing: "Disgusted at the fact that the Chainsmokers really had the nerve to make a racist 'Asians eat dogs' joke in front of an Asian interviewer".

In response the band posted a statement on Twitter with a link to stopylinforever.org, a charity that campaigns against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

"I made a comment in an interview about being hesitant to bring my dog, Cheddar, to China, because I have read reports about dogs being slaughtered in certain provinces," it read.

"We originally posted a video to share how much we love China and our fans there. We would never intentionally do anything to upset our fans and we apologise if we offended anyone.

"Anyone who wants to help prevent the slaughter of dogs please visit http://www.stopyulinforever.org."

A 2016 poll showed that almost 70 per cent of Chinese people claim to have never eaten dog meat, while 52 per cent want the controversial dog meat trade completely banned.

Most people in China feel that events such as the infamous Yulin Dog Meat Festival has "harmed China's reputation", state news agency Xinhua reports.

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