LEGISLATIVE SIEGE: Mayday support for siege criticized by Chinese fans

FANNING FLAMES::In response to a music video that has been interpreted as supportive of anti-pact protests, some Chinese netizens told the band to stay out of China

By Chen Hui-ling and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sun, Mar 23, 2014 - Page 3

Popular Taiwanese band Mayday (五月天) has become embroiled in the recent protest against the cross-strait service trade agreement as band members and company officials tried to put out fires from their fans’ responses to earlier statements about the protests.

The band’s fans in China have interpreted the musical video of the band’s song Rise (起來), which was posted on the band’s official Facebook page earlier this week, as supporting the students’ occupation of the Legislative Yuan, and were further angered when band member Masa (瑪莎) closed his coffee shop in what was interpreted by Taiwanese fans as a sign of support for the students’ actions.

A message on Masa’s shop read: “Sorry, but we cannot sacrifice Taiwan’s future for just a few extra dollars. Come to the Legislative Yuan and help us in our efforts to care about Taiwan.”

Netizens in China said the music video’s message showed the band’s support for “the anti-pact movement and Taiwanese independence, treating Chinese fans as their personal ATM” and wanted the band to “stay out of China.”

The band’s lead singer A-shin (阿信) responded to the comments in a Facebook post later on, saying: “We never said we were against the pact.”

In the post, A-shin said the band wanted to live up to what all of its fans believed about Mayday, and did not want to see more conflict.

He added that the band hoped the younger generation from both sides of the Strait will strive for friendlier interaction and mutual understanding.

However, A-shin’s post has drawn the ire of Taiwanese netizens, who accused the popstar of not sticking to his principles, while others said A-shin did not need to answer the Chinese fans’ posts message by message.

B’in Music manager Hsieh Chih-fen (謝芝芬) yesterday responded to Taiwanese netizens’ remarks by saying that “A-shin believes negotiation serves to clarify matters.”

Taiwanese fans have also accused A-shin of not standing his ground after the Rise music video was taken down soon after its posting.

Hsieh yesterday said that the band has no knowledge of the posting, and the reason the music video was taken down was that Facebook policy is not to accept any non-official links on its pages.

Meanwhile, some media reports emerged that China may place sanctions on singers or groups who support the occupation — including Mayday, Deserts Chang (張懸), Crowd Lu (盧廣仲), Lin You-chia (林宥嘉) and William Wei (韋禮安).

In response to media queries, the singers’ contract companies said they would ask for more details from the Chinese side.

Linfair Records, which represented Wei, said that the popstar just wanted to share the ongoing events in Taiwan and hoped others would seek to know more, while Chang’s manager denied knowledge of the reports.