It was the summer of ’69 some really bad takes.
On Monday, Adams posted an Instagram video of himself performing his hit single “Cuts Like A Knife,” accompanied by an angry rant filled with false claims for a caption.
Adams said he was supposed to be performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, but the gigs had been cancelled because of safety measures around the pandemic.
The musician had some very specific descriptors for who he thought was to blame for “the whole world” being “on hold.”
Adams deleted his tweet late Monday night. You can read his rant on Instagram. Warning: graphic language.
Adams, who is a longtime vegan, has posted previously about wet markets, which sell fresh meat, fish, and produce. In Monday’s post, he promoted inaccurate claims that have often been used in racist attacks against Asian populations during the pandemic.
While wet markets in China have been investigated and linked to diseases like SARS, there are several factors that play into a pandemic. Early research suggests that the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 may have started with a bat, but there’s no proof that it began because of people eating them, as Adams suggests, and the latter claim is widely regarded as false.
The more accepted — but still unproven — hypothesis is that another animal contracted the SARS CoV-2 virus from bats and passed it onto humans.
And on the theory that that contact was made at a live-animal market in Wuhan, Prof. Stephen Turner, head of the department of microbiology at Melbourne’s Monash University, told the Guardian: “I don’t think it’s conclusive by any means.”
The 60-year-old performer Adams is a known animal rights activist and constantly advocates for the vegan diet. He joins celebrities like Ricky Gervais, Joaquin Phoenix and Paul McCartney, who have also called for the closure of such markets.
As for the accusation of there being “virus making greedy bastards” — the conspiracy of the virus being created in a lab in China has been falsely promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump as well — experts say there’s absolutely no scientific evidence behind this claim.
HuffPost Canada has reached out to Adams’ representatives for comment, and will update this post if they respond.
While Adams wrote the post to apologize to fans for the cancelled shows and push his incorrect beliefs, it seemed to have mostly backfired, with many of the responses calling him and his message racist:
Some called for Royal Albert Hall to denounce him, and for Gov. Gen. Julie Payette to revoke Adams’ Order of Canada honour.
Others couldn’t resist taking shots at his music:
Some called him out for ignoring the severity of the situation and the hundreds of thousands of lives lost and millions affected, and instead making it all about him:
Adams also closed off the comments on his Instagram post late Monday night, and edited the caption to add, “not to mention the thousands that have suffered or died from this virus,” which he did not, in fact, mention his original post.
With files from Lisa Yeung
UPDATE - May 12, 2020: Bryan Adams released an apology on Instagram the day after his original posts. “No excuse, 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,” he wrote.