Singer Billie Eilish appeared to show her support for Hong Kong’s protest movement in a social media post—and now she’s incurring the wrath of her Chinese fans.
On Tuesday, the American artist shared a set of tweets on her Instagram account. The tweets praised Hong Kong protesters and suggested that Black Lives Matter demonstrators can learn from the way they put out tear gas fired by police, buy train tickets instead of using traceable metro cards, and look out for undercover cops wearing earbuds.
“I’m from Hong Kong and protesters here have some of the smartest tactics when fighting with our own police brutality,” one of the tweets—which are now deleted—said.
Eilish only shared the tweets and did not comment on her views about Hong Kong. But on Chinese social media platform Weibo, some netizens took that to mean that Eilish is a supporter of Hong Kong independence. Thousands criticized the singer and said that they would no longer support her.
One user wrote: “She’s so influential on teenagers. Hope that she wouldn’t share these ‘misleading’ posts again.”
Eilish’s brother, Finneas O’Connell, also shared a post related to the Hong Kong protests but appeared to hold a disapproving view of the city’s movement.
“Why was US media coverage of the Hong Kong protesters overwhelmingly positive, despite the fact they looted and rioted too?” The post he shared on Instagram read.
Both Eilish and her brother have since deleted the posts from their Instagram stories.
The social media posts prompted discussion on LIHKG. Netizens appeared split on their view of Eilish—some were pleased with her apparent support for the Hong Kong movement, while others criticized her for self-censorship and removing her Instagram story after the Weibo backlash.
The comments about her brother, however, overwhelmingly lashed out at him for seeming to view the Hong Kong protesters as looters and rioters.
“WE DONT LOOT F*** YOU! WE ARE NOT F***KING THIEVES!” One user said.
Eilish, who was named as a rising star on the TIME 100 Next list last year, rose to popularity after sharing her debut song Ocean Eyes online in 2015. Her first full studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was released in 2019, and has gone on to become a commercial success.
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